German minister to visit Turkey, Greece after surge in migrants headed to Europe

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German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer poses with a copy of a "Masterplan on Migration" during a press conference to present his long-delayed "Masterplan on Migration" which had sparked a dangerous conflict within the government in Berlin, on July 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / AXEL SCHMIDT

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer announced that he would visit Athens and Ankara in October after an unexpected surge in numbers of migrants crossing from Turkey to Greece, Deutsche Welle Turkish service reported on Thursday.

“It is a problem that we must resolve,” Seehofer is quoted by DW as saying.

In September alone 2,739 migrants from Turkey arrived on the Greek island of Lesbos, according to the T24 news website, equaling the number of migrants seeking refuge there prior to a deal that was struck between Ankara and the EU in 2016.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently called on European countries to support a Syria safe zone plan through which millions of Syrian refugees living in Turkey and Europe could be relocated to northern Syria.

Turkey hosts nearly 3.6 million Syrian refugees. According to the Nordic Monitor website, Turkey and the EU kicked off a new round of refugee deal negotiations after Erdoğan threatened Brussels with opening a route for migrants to Europe and demanded more financial aid.

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