Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey Move to Jointly Tackle Migration
Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey, facing a surge in illegal migration, have signed an agreement to set up a joint contact centre for border and customs control, the Interior Ministry in Sofia announced on Monday.
The joint contact center will start functioning on Bulgarian territory at Kapitan Andreevo crossing at the border with Turkey. The agreement needs parliamentary approval in Greece and Turkey to take effect , while in Bulgaria it only has to be endorsed by the government.
The centre is expected to improve the coordination of the efforts of the three southeast European neighbours to tackle migration, organised crime and terrorism.
“We can’t address those challenges without cooperating with each other and exchanging information,” Bulgaria’s Interior Minister Rumyana Bachvarova said at the signing ceremony in Sofia.
This section of Europe’s external border is extremely sensitive to potential migratory pressure, Bachvarova said, adding that such a three-way agreement is signed for the first time by Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey.
The document demonstrates that the three countries are determined to deal with crime and illegal migration through joint efforts, Greece’s Alternate Minister of Interior Ioannis Panousis commented
Turkey’s Interior Minister Sebahattin Ozturk said: "The joint contact centre will facilitate our cooperation. Through it police and customs authorities will exchange information in real time and will be able to react adequately to illegal immigration and smuggling.”