Greece to send 1,000 refugees to Portugal

Mothers and their children in a center run by the Amurtel NGO in Athens’ Victoria Square. (AFP)
Updated 08 March 2019

Greece to send 1,000 refugees to Portugal

  • Over 70,000 refugees and migrants have been stranded in Greece following a mass influx from 2015 onwards
  • Conditions are worst on the islands of Lesbos and Samos, where there are over 9,000 people in camps built to handle a third of that number

ATHENS: Greece’s migration ministry on Friday said it had concluded a bilateral agreement with Portugal to gradually relocate 1,000 refugees and asylum seekers.
“A first phase involves the relocation of 100 persons granted and/or seeking international protection who are currently in Greek (camps),” the ministry said in a statement.
Over 70,000 refugees and migrants have been stranded in Greece following a mass influx from 2015 onwards. Most were fleeing war-torn Syria and want to go to wealthier EU states such as Germany.
Of these, over 15,000 are housed in badly overcrowded camps on Greek islands where living conditions have been repeatedly criticized by rights groups.
Conditions are worst on the islands of Lesbos and Samos, where there are over 9,000 people in camps built to handle a third of that number.
The Greek government says the problem is partly caused by a huge backlog of refugee asylum applications, and by the refusal of several EU states to take in asylum-seekers.


NATO chief visits Afghanistan as US, Taliban to sign deal

Updated 29 February 2020

NATO chief visits Afghanistan as US, Taliban to sign deal

  • Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and US Defense Secretary Mark Esper will join the NATO chief at a press conference
  • The details of the deal, to be signed in Doha on Saturday, have not been disclosed

BURSSELS: NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg was in Afghanistan on Saturday for meetings with officials as the United States and the Taliban were to sign a long-sought deal, the alliance said.
Stoltenberg was to participate in a Kabul media conference later Saturday with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and US Defense Secretary Mark Esper, the NATO statement said.
He was also to meet the head of the US and NATO forces in the country, General Scott Miller, as well as other commanders of the alliance’s training mission there.
The details of the deal, to be signed in Doha on Saturday, have not been disclosed, but it is expected to set the terms of the US to start withdrawing the more than 12,000 troops it has in Afghanistan in return for commitments from the Taliban.
It carries with it hopes of a fall in violence in Afghanistan after decades of conflict and the opening of peace talks with the Afghan government, which was excluded from the direct US-Taliban negotiations.

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