Austrian Foreign Minister to visit Greece and Cyprus next week

Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg will begin a tour of Greece and Cyprus next Wednesday to discuss combating illegal immigration and providing strong protection for the European Union’s external borders.

The Austrian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the meetings with his Greek counterpart Giorgos Gerapetritis, Defense Minister Nikos Dendias and Shipping Minister Christos Stylianides will focus in particular on the migration burden on the Greek islands and stability in the eastern Mediterranean.

The statement explained that Greece – along with Cyprus and Austria – has been among the top three countries in the European Union in terms of asylum applications since 2015.

He pointed out that Schallenberg will discuss in his meetings the change in migration routes and their dynamics before the start of the summer season, which is traditionally the main time for illegal crossings of the Mediterranean.

The statement said that during the tour, Schallenberg will appeal to the European Commission to protect the European Union’s external borders, combat illegal immigration and make it a top priority on the European Union’s agenda in the next legislative period of the European Parliament.

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