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Greece ‘to guard border’ as it voices concern over asylum-seekers ‘gathering on Turkey coast’

Greece ‘to guard border’ as it voices concern over asylum-seekers ‘gathering on Turkey coast’

Officials in Greece expressed concern on Monday that migrants and refugees are gathering on Turkey’s coast with plans to cross the Aegean Sea to Greek islands, despite movement restrictions in both countries to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Daily clashes between border police and asylum-seekers broke out at the land border between Turkey and Greece in March, after Ankara said it would no longer stop people from trying to enter Europe.

Authorities “have seen signs of activity” on the shores of Turkey, Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas stated. “We will… continue to do whatever it takes to defend our sovereign rights and guard the borders of Greece and Europe,” AP quoted him as saying.

Greek Defense Ministry officials said military personnel have been guarding the land and sea borders since Turkey accused the EU of not abiding by its commitments. Turkish authorities previously inhibited migration to Europe in return for Syrian refugee aid as part of a deal with the EU.