C: Derek Gatopoulous on Twitter @dgatopoulos

Greece and Turkey build walls to prevent Afghans entering after crisis 

Greece has completed a 40km fence on its border with Turkey in a bid to prevent Afghans from entering Europe as the Taliban takes over the region. 

Greek Minister, Michalis Chrisochoidis, said the extension to the existing 12.5km fence was complete and had been fitted with an automated electronic monitoring system using state-of-the-art technology.  The crisis erupting in Afghanistan created “possibilities for migrant flows”, the Minister said.

“We cannot wait, passively, for the possible impact. Our borders will remain safe and inviolable,” he told reporters.

The country has previously said that it bore an excess of the burden of the cost of caring for those fleeing conflict in the Middle East after war broke out in Syria. Almost a million people crossed to Greece through Turkey before travelling to other European countries. Commentators say that Greece is anxious not to become the gateway for those travelling once again.

In 2016, the EU made a deal with Turkey, through which hundreds of thousands of migrants had travelled to reach Greece and thereby the EU, in order to limit the number of arrivals. Amongst the terms negotiated was a payment of 6 billion euros in aid to Turkey for Syrian migrant communities and a re-opening of stalled talks on Turkey’s accession to the EU.

Turkey, at the time, hosted the largest numbers of refugees in the world, with almost 3 million refugees coming from Syria, as well as large numbers of Iraqis, Iranians, and Afghans.

Now, AFP reports that “Turkey is building a wall along its border with Iran to prevent a new influx of refugees, mainly from Afghanistan as the Taliban take over the country.” “For now, a 5km section is under construction but Turkey is aiming to build a 295km-long wall on its Iranian border,” the news platform said.

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