M. Palmer: “Misled” People at Greek Border Could Have Destabilizing Effect

March 8, 2020

ALEXANDROUPOLIS, Greece – “The uncontrolled movement of thousands of people who have been misled into believing that the road to Europe is open is fundamentally destabilizing. It’s unsustainable and it needs to change,” the U.S. State Department’s Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, Matthew Palmer, said on Saturday in statements from the northern city of Alexandroupolis.

“We are here to demonstrate solidarity with Greece, with the region in this difficult period. What is happening at the borders in unsustainable, unacceptable,” he underlined.

Asked by the Athens-Macedonian News Agency if the current situation at the borders could affect in any way the economic and geostrategic interest of the US in the region, he replied:

“I am hopeful that we will see a resolution of the situation on the border in relatively short order and in particular hopefully the ceasefire that was agreed between Ankara and Moscow in Idlib will ease some of the pressure as well as the assistance that the United States and other countries have offered to support migrants and refugees in Turkey,” he said and added that the United States has put forward an additional 108 million dollars in assistance working through UNHCR and the International Office for Migration which is intended in part to help alleviate the pressures at the border.

Asked whether Greece needs to impose additional security measures given the current situation in the borders, he stated: “As the President (Trump) has made absolutely clear, Greece has the right to defend its borders. I personally have been impressed by the professionalism of the Greek security services along the borders, the way they have dealt with very challenging circumstances and Greece has our support in what it’s doing both here in Evros and in the Aegean to ensure border security.”


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