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Greece summons Turkey’s ambassador after 1st mass arrival of migrant boats in 3 years – report

Greece summons Turkey’s ambassador after 1st mass arrival of migrant boats in 3 years – report

Over a dozen migrant boats landed on Greece’s Lesbos island within minutes of each other on Thursday in the first such mass arrival from neighboring Turkey in three years, officials said. Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias summoned the Turkish ambassador on Friday to “express Greece’s deep discontent” with the rise in flows from Turkey, Reuters said, citing diplomatic sources.

Sixteen boats carrying about 650 people reached Lesbos on Thursday, 13 of those in under an hour, according to police and the UN refugee agency UNHCR.

In 2015, thousands of people were arriving on Greek shores every day at the height of Europe’s migrant crisis. The numbers dropped dramatically after the European Union and Ankara implemented a deal in March 2016.

Of the 56,000 refugees and migrants arriving in Europe this year, nearly half have been to a handful of Greek islands, and the number has risen in recent months, according to the UN.