More than 5,000 migrants from Turkey arrive in Greece in December: report

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AFP PHOTO

A total of 5,247 migrants arrived in the Greek islands from nearby Turkey in December, the Ekathimerini news website reported on Wednesday.

According to the Greek police’s Northern Aegean Regional Directorate, 3,681 migrants arrived on Lesbos, 878 on Samos and 688 on Chios in the final month of the year.

In the first 12 hours of 2020, 123 migrants arrived on Lesbos in three boats, police said. Another 134 had arrived on New Year’s Eve.

Turkey signed a refugee deal with the European Union in 2016, agreeing to take back migrants crossing the Greek border.

The latest reports suggest there has been an increase in the migrant influx from Turkey to Greece, a situation that worries European countries.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to visit Ankara this month to discuss renewal of the refugee deal.

Turkey hosts more than 4 million migrants, and recently escalating armed conflict in Syria’s Idlib region, the last stronghold for Syrian rebels, would add another million to that.

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