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Erdoğan using migrants as ‘weapon’ against EU: Austrian chancellor

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is using migrants as a “weapon” against the European Union, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Tuesday, urging member states to rally behind Greece as it tries to repel thousands of asylum seekers amassed at its border, the Kathimerini daily reported.

“This rush is not an accident, it’s organized,” Kurz was quoted by Bloomberg as telling journalists in Vienna. “Those people are being used by Erdoğan as a playball, as a weapon, to apply pressure on the European Union,” he said.

The EU must stand united behind Greece and protect its borders as well as provide humanitarian assistance, Kurz said, according to the report.

Thousands of migrants arrived at the Turkish-Greek border after Erdoğan last week said the gates would be open.

The Turkish president aims to pressure the EU into helping establish a buffer zone in northern Syria where the migrants would be resettled as Turkey already hosts nearly 3.7 million Syrian refugees.

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