- Associated Press - Monday, September 16, 2019

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) - Greece’s migration policy minister says the European Union’s Mediterranean states are in a better position to convince other EU partners to help them cope with migrant arrivals.

Giorgos Koumoutsakos says the incoming European Commission’s priority to forge a new EU migration policy affords Mediterranean states the opportunity to underscore their own concerns.

Koumoutsakos says that between 4,500 and 5,000 migrants entered the EU from its eastern Mediterranean frontier last month, nearly four times more than anywhere else in the Med.

He said after talks with the Cypriot interior minister Monday that the EU’s deal with Turkey on stemming migrant arrivals must be implemented.

That means Greece will increase migrant returns while Turkey must eliminate people trafficking rings and prevent the creation of new migrant routes into the EU.

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