Two Russians suspected of sending migrants from Turkey detained in Rhodes

ATHENS, November 14. /TASS/: Port authorities in the Greek island of Rhodes have detained two Russians, who are suspected of helping migrants come to Greece from Turkey, Russia’s embassy in Athens told TASS on Thursday.

According to the port service in Rhodes, on November 2 two Russian citizens named Malenkov and Belenko were detained near the island’s coast. "They are suspected of transporting illegal migrants to Greece from Turkey," the diplomatic mission said.

Chinese president arrives in Greece for state visit

ATHENS, Nov 11 (NNN-Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Greece Sunday for a three-day state visit to consolidate traditional friendship and strengthen cooperation between the two countries.

It is the first visit by a Chinese head of state to the European nation in 11 years.

Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, were greeted by senior Greek officials at the airport.

Upon arrival, Xi said Greece boasts long history and glorious culture and has made outstanding contributions to the progress of human civilizations.

Greek Parliament Approves Bill To Accelerate Asylum Procedures

ATHENS, Nov 2 (NNN-AMNA) – Greece’s parliament, approved Friday, a bill that would accelerate asylum procedures, as part of its efforts to address its refugee and migrant challenges.

The bill covers accelerating the assessment process of asylum applications, the repatriation of migrants and the social inclusion of refugees, said Citizen Protection Minister, Michalis Chrisochoidis.

Alone in Greece, refugee and migrant minors fight against despair

19 October 2019; AFP: At the notoriously overcrowded Greek island camp of Moria, Ezzatolah Soleimani admits he cries often amid despair, scenes of violence and interminable waits for food and basic sanitation.

The young Afghan is just 16, one of over 4,000 unaccompanied minors trapped in Greece by closed European borders and bureaucratic hurdles, and facing an uncertain future.

Europe must brace for new refugee wave: Greek PM

16 October 2019; AFP: Europe must be ready for the possibility of a new refugee influx, Greece's Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Wednesday, as an unfolding Turkish offensive in Syria could see more people flee the conflict-ridden region.

"Europe must be prepared for the eventuality of a new migratory and refugee wave coming through Greece," Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told AFP in an exclusive interview 100 days after taking office.

Pompeo blasts Ukraine critics for ‘silly gotcha game’

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday defended the Trump administration’s approach to Ukraine, which is driving an impeachment inquiry in Congress, and called it typical of the transactional way countries deal with one another.

Pompeo said the focus from the media and commentators on President Donald Trump and Ukraine is “wrong” because it doesn’t “impact real people’s lives.”

Greek PM asks U.S.’s Pompeo for help to calm offshore tensions with Turkey

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis urged the United States on Saturday to use its influence to defuse tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, where Cyprus and Turkey are locked in a dispute over offshore rights.

Mitsotakis told visiting U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Turkish moves south of the island in recent days were a “flagrant violation” of Cyprus’ sovereign rights.

Tensions grow as Cyprus says Turkish drilling ship violates its rights

ATHENS (Reuters) - Tensions between Cyprus and Turkey over offshore drilling intensified on Friday, with Nicosia accusing Turkey of a “severe escalation” of violations of its sovereign rights.

Turkey announced on Thursday that it had sent an oil-and-gas drilling ship to waters off southern Cyprus where Greek Cypriot authorities have already awarded hydrocarbon exploration rights to Italian and French companies.

Hundreds of migrants protest conditions on Greek isle of Lesbos, days after deadly fire

MORIA (Greece), Oct 2 (NNN-AGENCIES) — Around a thousand migrants staged a fresh protest in Europe’s largest migrant camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, days after a deadly fire at the vastly overcrowded facility.

A procession made up mainly of women and children, with some elderly people, left Moria camp walking towards the port of Mytilene, with demonstrators shouting slogans.

But police road-block stopped them half-way to Mytilene.

Greece wants to return 10,000 migrants to Turkey after deadly camp fire

1 October 2019; AFP: Greece said Monday it wanted to start sending back thousands of migrants to Turkey, a day after a deadly fire sparked riots at an overcrowded camp on the island of Lesbos.

The decision, taken at an emergency cabinet meeting, came as officials in Greece and abroad called for action to ease the pressure on the crowded migrant camps spread across the Aegean islands.

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