Turkish, Greek Ministers Discuss Spike in Migrants to Greece

Turkey's Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, right, meet with George Koumoutsakos, left, Greece's Alternate Minister for immigration policy in the Ministry of Citizen's Protection of Greece, prior to their meeting in Ankara, Turkey, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Ali Unal)

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s state-run news agency says top Turkish and Greek ministers have met to discuss migration policies amid a spike in migrant arrivals in Greece over the summer.

Anadolu Agency said Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu met with Giorgos Koumoutsakos, Greece’s migration minister, on Thursday in Ankara.

Soylu is scheduled to hold a separate meeting with his French and German counterparts to discuss a 2016 European Union-Turkey migration agreement and ways of assisting Greece cope with the increased arrivals.

Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, left, shakes hands with George Koumoutsakos, right, Greece’s Alternate Minister for immigration policy in the Ministry of Citizen’s Protection of Greece, prior to their meeting in Ankara, Turkey, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019.(AP Photo/Ali Unal)

The meetings follow threats by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Turkey could “open the gates” and allow migrants to leave for European countries, saying his country can’t shoulder the burden of 3.6 million refugees it hosts alone.

Turkey frequently accuses the EU of not keeping to the terms of the 2016 deal.

Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, left, shakes hands with George Koumoutsakos, right, Greece’s Alternate Minister for immigration policy in the Ministry of Citizen’s Protection of Greece, prior to their meeting in Ankara, Turkey, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. Soylu is scheduled to have a meeting later on Thursday with his French and German counterparts on the EU-Turkey migration agreement and supporting EU-member Greece in coping with migrant arrivals. (AP Photo/Ali Unal)