Alexis Tsipras in Malta

Alexis Tsipras in Malta

Athens, November 12, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Spiros Sideris

With the central position that the refugee issue should be treated as a common European problem and not a problem that concerns only the countries that act as hosts, came the prime minister Alexis Tsipras to the Summit in Valletta, Malta, which takes place Wednesday and Thursday.

Greece’s intention is to take up a central role in EU-Turkey negotiations on the refugee problem, in view of the forthcoming visit of the prime minister to Turkey.

Tsipras will insist that it is necessary for the identification of refugees and the resettlement process to be carried out at the turkish coast and not on the greek islands.

At the meeting, Greece will reiterate that the main reason for the creation of migration and refugee flows is poverty in countries of origin, as well as regional crises, and any attempt to radically manage the issue should focus on those causes.

It will also reiterate that the issue is primarily humanitarian in nature and as such should be treated internationally.

In the session that was called by Italy will be voted a text of conclusions and an action plan.

Tsipras is accompanied in Malta by deputy immigration policy minister, Yiannis Mouzalas, and deputy minister for european affairs, Nikos Xydakis.

On the sidelines of the Summit, the Prime Minister will have a bilateral meeting with the President of the Swiss Confederation, Simoneta Somaruga, designed to promote mutual cooperation in financial and tax matters, as well as the President of Cyprus Nikos Anastasiades, since on November 17-18 the Greek prime minister will visit Turkey on the invitation of his Turkish counterpart.

Tsipras will meet with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul and will depart on November 18 for Ankara. The Greek PM will also attend the friendly football match between Greece and Turkey, alongside his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu.