Bulgaria, Greece ‘to work actively together’ on migration and asylum issues

Bulgaria, Greece ‘to work actively together’ on migration and asylum issues

As frontline countries, Bulgaria and Greece face common challenges related to increased migration pressure. They must join forces not only at the bilateral level, but also within the European Union, in order to pay due attention to the Eastern Mediterranean.This must also be done in close co-operation with Turkey.

This was the common view expressed by Bulgaria’s Interior Minister Mladen Marinov and the Minister of Migration Policy of Greece, Giorgos Koumoutsakos, during talks in Sofia on September 20, the Interior Ministry said.

The two praised bilateral co-operation in the field of home affairs and migration and asylum.

There was a willingness to upgrade and expand existing co-operation in order to tackle common challenges – cross-border crime, illegal migration, trafficking in human beings, and smuggling of goods.

The importance of the trilateral co-operation with Turkey and the key role in the exchange of information at the Kapitan Andreevo police and customs co-operation contact centre for police and customs cooperation were also emphasized. An open and constructive dialogue with the Turkish side at all levels must continue, the two ministers said.

During his working visit to Sofia, Koumoutsakos also held meetings with Prime Minister Boiko Borissov and Deputy Foreign Minister Petko Doikov.

A visit was also made to the National Coordination Centre at the Border Police Directorate General to get acquainted with the migration situation in Bulgaria on the spot and the efforts that law enforcement agencies make to limit migration pressure and protect borders./ibna