BRUSSELS – The Latest on the influx of migrants in Europe (all times local):
The president of Cyprus is traveling to Brussels on the eve of a European Union summit with Turkey on migration to outline his government's opposition to making too many concessions to Ankara.
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades will meet with EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker Wednesday evening, one day after telling EU President Donald Tusk that Cyprus has no intention of permitting full negotiations for Turkey's EU membership — a position that could scuttle the whole deal.
The two-day EU summit starting on Thursday will try to make sure all EU nations sign off on a deal with Turkey that even Tusk has said still needs to be "rebalanced" to make it acceptable to all. The tentative agreement struck March 7 would allow Greece to return migrants to Turkey as Europe opens new routes for pre-screened migrants to seek asylum legally.
Turkey demands some 6 billion euros ($6.7 billion) to help deal with the migrant crisis and wants big concessions, particularly on its long-held dream of joining the EU. Nowhere does mistrust run higher than in neighboring Cyprus, which has been divided into a Greek Cypriot south and Turkish Cypriot north since 1974.
Right-wing members of Greece's left-led coalition government are calling for the resignation of the country's minister for immigration, Ioannis Mouzalas, who departed from the official Greek line in a reference to neighboring Macedonia.
Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, who leads the Independent Greeks party, objected to Mouzalas speaking of Macedonia, instead of the cumbersome but preferred in Greece "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia."
Mouzalas on Wednesday apologized, saying he made a slip of the tongue. Greece has been involved in a dispute with its tiny northern neighbor over Macedonia's name. Athens contends that the use of the name Macedonia implies claims on Greece's own northern province of Macedonia.
Macedonia's president says neighboring Greece is not being cooperative on the immigration crisis following a large influx of refugees into his country on Monday.
Gjorge Ivanov convened a meeting of the National Security Council late Tuesday, and afterward told the press that Greece should stop allowing migrants to reach the boundary between the two nations.
About 14,000 people are stuck in a muddy tent city at the Idomeni crossing, on the Greek side of the border, hoping that Macedonia will allow them through on their journey to Europe's prosperous heartland.
About 1,500 bypassed a fence Monday to enter Macedonia, but were detained and forced back into Greece — with violence according to some refugees. Macedonia has rejected the claims.
Ivanov called for better cooperation between Macedonian and Greek security services.