Refugees and migrants receive humanitarian aid from Greek Red Cross workers in the port of Piraeus, Greece | Photo: ARCHIVE/EPA/ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU
Refugees and migrants receive humanitarian aid from Greek Red Cross workers in the port of Piraeus, Greece | Photo: ARCHIVE/EPA/ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU

The Greek Red Cross has sent aid to the island of Kos for 375 migrants rescued off Crete at the end of October.

The Greek arm of the Red Cross organization has sent 6.5 tons of humanitarian aid to Kos for the 375 migrants who were taken to the island on October 31 after being rescued from a ship which was left adrift off the coast of Crete.

The aid packages -- which include clothing, footwear and sanitary items as well as medical supplies among other things -- departed from Athens on a truck for Kos on Wednesday evening (November 3).

"(F)ollowing a communication from the President of the Greek Red Cross Dr. Antoniou Avgerinou with the administration of the Kos Migrant Reception and Identification Center, about the exact needs of the refugees, a truck carrying 6.5 tons of humanitarian aid left at noon on Wednesday in order to be made available directly to the beneficiaries," said the Greek Red Cross in a statement.

A little over a week ago, a major search and rescue operation was launched by the Greek Coast Guard to rescue the migrants who were aboard a small Turkish-flagged cargo ship that suffered engine problems just east of the island of Crete.

The ship's passengers were subsequently taken to the Kos migrant camp. A total of 250 people are Pakistani and Bangladeshi nationals, while 112 people are from Afghanistan, with the remainder of varying nationalities.

Migrants could stay briefly, minister

The majority of migrants in Greece could be staying for a short period of time, according to statements made by Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis on Monday last week. The minister said that Greece will try to send the migrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh back to their native countries. He blamed Turkey for what he called a "needless, dangerous journey" for the migrants.

Mitarakis met with Turkey's Interior Minister, Suleyman Soylu, in Ankara on Tuesday to discuss migration issues.

In a statement, Mitarakis said that the new scenario in Afghanistan "makes regional cooperation even more necessary" and the two ministers had a "common understanding of the dangers of the migration crisis."

He added: "We agreed on the need for further cooperation in the framework of the EU-Turkey Joint Declaration, following the conversation between Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and President Erdogan."

"Greece will continue to responsibly face its obligations to protect the borders of the European Union, with absolute respect for international law. We will support Turkey's efforts within the (agreement with the EU) so that it can deal with the (migration flow) pressure that may arise from Afghanistan. It is up to Turkey to reciprocate the good will in cooperating with our country."

 

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