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Greece, Turkey build wall to prevent arrival of Afghan refugees – The HuffPost

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Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Greece and Turkey are building a wall to prevent the arrival of Afghan refugees (Photo of the wall on Turkey’s border with Iran on August 21, 2021 by Mesut Varol / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

AFGHANISTAN – While Spain took four days to build a reception camp for Afghan refugees, Greece announced this Saturday, August 21 that it had completed the construction of a 40 km wall on its border with Turkey to prevent possible Afghan asylum seekers to try to reach Europe.

After the enlightenment of the Taliban to power in Afghanistan, many Afghans are trying to flee the country and the new regime, causing Europe to fear a migratory crisis. Greek Minister for Citizen Protection Michalis Chrisochoidis said the country had taken measures to prevent a recurrence of the 2015 crisis. Six years ago, one million people fled war and poverty in Africa. Middle East and entered Greece via Turkey before moving up to the western European states.

“Our borders will remain secure and inviolable”

Yes the country had already started to build a fence, Greece has completed the last 12.5 km in recent days. All equipped with a surveillance system. “We cannot passively wait for the possible impact. Our borders will remain secure and inviolable ”, insisted Michalis Chrisochoidis.

According toThe Guardian, the Greek government said it would not allow refugees to enter Europe and would turn back people at the borders. “Our country will not be a gateway to Europe for illegal Afghan migrants,” Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi said in a statement.

Greece is not the only country to barricade its borders since Turkey has done the same with the one separating it from Iran, 500 kilometers long. According to France 24, the Turkish government has accelerated there in recent days the construction of a wall 243 kilometers long, bordered by ditches. Some 156 kilometers have already been erected and patrols have been stepped up, officials told AFP.

Turkey calls on the EU to honor its commitments

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the European Union on Friday August 20 to respect its commitments in terms of migration in the face of the chaotic situation in Afghanistan as Greece said on Wednesday it could return Afghan migrants to Turkey.

“Declaring Turkey as a safe third country does not exempt the EU from its international commitments,” said the Turkish head of state in a telephone interview with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Greece said on Wednesday that it could return to Turkey, which it had described as a “safe country”, the failed Afghans of their asylum application in Greece. An agreement signed in 2016 between Ankara and the EU provides for the return of “irregular migrants” from the Greek islands to Turkey. But Ankara regularly criticizes the EU for not fulfilling its obligations under this agreement.

“We expect the EU to sincerely respect its commitments,” Erdogan reiterated on Friday, who called for “cooperation based on understanding and mutual interests” on migration.

A migration crisis, a “serious challenge for everyone”

The Turkish head of state also denounced the risk of a migratory wave that would pose a “serious challenge for everyone” and called on the EU to help the neighboring countries of Afghanistan, in particular Iran, to reduce it.

“A new wave of migration is inevitable if the necessary measures are not taken in Afghanistan and Iran,” he said. Erdogan added that his country was in contact with Tehran on the matter and had taken further steps to secure its border with Iran.

“The two leaders discussed the need to support the countries of the immediate neighborhood so that the Afghans remain as close as possible to their home”, for its part added Athens in a statement, specifying that the discussions between the two leaders took place in a “positive” atmosphere.

As the Taliban’s return to power in Kabul has left the future of many Afghans in doubt, evacuations continue. In Kabul, the capital, thousands of people continue to crowd at the airport this Saturday, August 21, as Western countries try to remove their nationals and the most vulnerable Afghans by plane. The United States, which plans to evacuate more than 30,000 Americans and Afghan civilians via its bases in Kuwait and Qatar, says it has already released more than 13,000 people since August 14.

See also on The HuffPost: In Spain, a camp to accommodate Afghan refugees built in 4 days

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