The refugee crisis is a problem that affects every nation and as such should be dealt with in a coordinated and united matter, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told the 71st United Nations General Assembly on Monday.
Tsipras, who is on an official visit to New York this week, urged the global community to take joint action and deal with an international challenge, one which cannot be faced by any single nation alone, warning that if concerted action is not taken, it will pave the way for xenophobic forces to take hold.
“If we are unable to relocate migrants to countries across the globe which can host them, we will have failed and in this way we will give ground to nationalist, xenophobic forces to show their true face,” he said in his address to the Summit for Refugees and Migrants which was to examine ways to tackle the crisis.
The Greek prime minister went on to underline that is the responsibility of the European Union to show solidarity as well as practical support and fulfill its pledge to Greece ensuring the deal signed in March between the EU and Turkey is upheld. At the same time, he condemned neighboring Balkan and Eastern European states for closing their borders and pulling out of the effort.
Tsipras is expected on Wednesday to meet on the sidelines of the Assembly with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Greece’s premier proposed four measures to deal with the migrant influx: increase the financial support and the manpower in countries hosting refugees; accelerate the return procedure for those not in need of amnesty and the relocation process of other refugees; strengthen diplomatic initiatives and financing which will focus on addressing the causes of migration; boost border patrols and cooperation between coast guard authorities to stamp out trafficking networks.