Erdogan to Hold Migrant Summit With Macron and Merkel in Istanbul

(From L) Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and French President Emmanuel Macron hold hands after a conference as part of a summit called to attempt to find a lasting political solution to the civil war in Syria which has claimed in excess …

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced he will be hosting a migration summit with French and German leaders but declined to invite Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

The summit is scheduled to take place on March 17th and will be attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson “possibly” also going.

The announcement comes just after the Turkish president met with European Union officials in Brussels earlier this week and was unable to come to any sort of deal that would see the Turkish government close the border to migrants after opening it two weeks ago, Proto Thema reports.

“Implementing the truce in Idlib and finding a permanent solution to the refugee problem is for everyone’s benefit. We can start a new era with the EU. If the EU shows this determination and political vision, it is possible to go the distance,” Erdogan said.

While saying he was supportive of updating the EU-Turkey customs agreement and giving Turkish citizens visa-free access to the European Union, an unfulfilled part of the 2016 EU-Turkey migrant agreement, Erdogan had much harsher words for the Greek government.

Slamming Greek conservative Prime Minister Mitsotakis, Erdogan said, “Greece is not aware of International Law. Mitsotakis must first learn International Law. He should read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

Erdogan has also called on Greece to open its border as the Turks have, stating, “Hey Greece! I appeal to you… open the gates as well and be free of this burden… Let them go to other European countries.”

Tensions between the Turks and the Greeks have escalated in recent days, with the Greek government accusing Turkey not only of shuttling migrants to the border but using an EU-funded vehicle to attempt to rip down parts of the Greek border fence.

Greece released a night vision video this week claiming to show “a Turkish armoured border surveillance vehicle which tries to pull down part of the border fence with a rope.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)



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