Europe

The Latest: Lesbos: Migrant boat stopped ahead of pope visit

  • Pope Francis waves to journalists as he boards an airplane at Rome's Fiumicino airport, Saturday, April 16, 2016, on his way to the Greek island of Lesbos, The Pontiff will visit the island Saturday joined by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the head of the Orthodox Church of Greece, Athens Archbishop Ieronymos II, a mission human rights groups hope will highlight the plight of refugees who fled their war-ravaged homes only to be denied entry to Europe. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

    Pope Francis waves to journalists as he boards an airplane at Rome's Fiumicino airport, Saturday, April 16, 2016, on his way to the Greek island of Lesbos, The Pontiff will visit the island Saturday joined by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the head of the Orthodox Church of Greece, Athens Archbishop Ieronymos II, a mission human rights groups hope will highlight the plight of refugees who fled their war-ravaged homes only to be denied entry to Europe. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pope Francis boards an airplane at Rome's Fiumicino airport, Saturday, April 16, 2016, on his way to the Greek island of Lesbos, The Pontiff will visit the island Saturday joined by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the head of the Orthodox Church of Greece, Athens Archbishop Ieronymos II, a mission human rights groups hope will highlight the plight of refugees who fled their war-ravaged homes only to be denied entry to Europe. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

    Pope Francis boards an airplane at Rome's Fiumicino airport, Saturday, April 16, 2016, on his way to the Greek island of Lesbos, The Pontiff will visit the island Saturday joined by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the head of the Orthodox Church of Greece, Athens Archbishop Ieronymos II, a mission human rights groups hope will highlight the plight of refugees who fled their war-ravaged homes only to be denied entry to Europe. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pope Francis holds his skull cap as he boards an airplane at Rome's Fiumicino airport, Saturday, April 16, 2016, on his way to the Greek island of Lesbos, The Pontiff will visit the island Saturday joined by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the head of the Orthodox Church of Greece, Athens Archbishop Ieronymos II, a mission human rights groups hope will highlight the plight of refugees who fled their war-ravaged homes only to be denied entry to Europe. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

    Pope Francis holds his skull cap as he boards an airplane at Rome's Fiumicino airport, Saturday, April 16, 2016, on his way to the Greek island of Lesbos, The Pontiff will visit the island Saturday joined by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the head of the Orthodox Church of Greece, Athens Archbishop Ieronymos II, a mission human rights groups hope will highlight the plight of refugees who fled their war-ravaged homes only to be denied entry to Europe. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)  (The Associated Press)

The Latest on Pope Francis' visit to the Greek island of Lesbos (all times local):

09:35 a.m.

The European border patrol agency Frontex has intercepted a dinghy carrying 41 Syrians and Iraqis off the coast of the Greek island of Lesbos, three hours before Pope Francis was to land on the island for a visit highlighting the plight of refugees.

The refugees were detained and brought to shore Saturday in the port of Mytilene. Later in the day, the pope, along with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians, and Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos II, head of the Church of Greece, will toss floral wreaths into the sea nearby in memory of migrants who have died making the same journey.

Under a controversial European Union-Turkey deal that came into effect March 20, all those arriving on Greek islands from that date on are detained and deported back to Turkey unless they successfully apply for asylum in Greece.