By Mehmet Hatipoglu
ATHENS (AA) - Greece, Bulgaria and Greek Cypriot Administration have agreed to establish Eastern Mediterranean Migration Route Initiative (EMMI) to fight against irregular migration flows in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Greek Ministry of Citizens Protection announced in a press release on Thursday.
“It will be the first joint initiative of the front-line member-states,” the statement said.
The initiative will be presented at the European Union’s Justice and Home Affairs Council on Oct. 7, in Luxembourg.
According to the statement, Greece, Bulgaria and Greek Cyprus will seek effective implementation of the 2016 EU-Turkey Joint Statement.
The three countries said that they advocate Turkey’s efforts to implement clauses of the EU-Turkey Joint Statement, by preventing setting up of new illegal migration routes across Europe, ensuring effective return of migrants and eradicating migrant trafficking networks.
“In this context, the three countries encourage the EU and the member states to consider allocating more resources to countries in the wider Eastern Mediterranean region, on the basis of mutually agreed commitments,” said the statement.
Also, the initiative encourages the EU to commit more funds in its 2021-2026 budget to tackle refugee and migration issues.
It further added the aim of the EMMI is also to highlight the big migration challenge faced by the front-line countries of the Eastern Mediterranean.
*Writing by Havva Kara Aydin