Top EU diplomat to visit Ankara for Syria, migration crisis talks




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Brussels/Athens – EU Foreign Policy Chief, Josep Borrell, will Tuesday head to Ankara for crisis talks about the military escalation in Syria’s Idlib province, as well as the refugee situation in Turkey, his office announced.

Ankara is backing rebels who are staving off a military onslaught by the Russian-backed Syrian Government in Idlib.

The heavy fighting has triggered a new flow of migrants into neighbouring Turkey.

The crisis has created fears of a new European migration crisis, after Ankara said it could no longer contain the number of refugees and was, therefore, opening its frontiers to those who wanted to head to Europe.
Borrell, accompanied by EU Crisis Management Commissioner, Janez Lenarcic, is to conduct high-level talks the ongoing escalation in Idlib and the humanitarian consequences for the civilian on the ground, and the situation of Syrian refugees in Turkey.

Earlier, the EU foreign ministers are to conduct emergency talks in Zagreb the developments.

Meanwhile, the European Commission President, Ursula Leyen, is to visit the Greek-Turkish border, with some 13,000 stranded migrants trying to cross into the EU from Turkey.

She is to make an assessment of the situation in the North-Eastern area of Orestiada, along the European Council President, Charles Michel, and European President, David Sassoli.
The trio is also to meet Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Meanwhile, Greek security forces have used tear gas to hold people back in the past few days.

Turkey’s pronouncement that it would no longer stop people headed for Europe despite an arrangement reached with the EU in 2016 to prevent just that.

(dpa/NAN)