Europe

Official: Greek efforts to handle refugee crisis significant

  • Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, left, and Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland shake hands during their meeting at the Maximos Mansion in Athens, Wednesday, May 25, 2016. Jagland told The Associated Press in an interview on Wednesday, that Greece has faced major problems in dealing with the refugee crisis but that the country has made significant efforts to handle the issues, although concerns remain about the detention of some asylum-seekers while their applications are being processed. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, left, and Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland shake hands during their meeting at the Maximos Mansion in Athens, Wednesday, May 25, 2016. Jagland told The Associated Press in an interview on Wednesday, that Greece has faced major problems in dealing with the refugee crisis but that the country has made significant efforts to handle the issues, although concerns remain about the detention of some asylum-seekers while their applications are being processed. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)  (The Associated Press)

  • Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, left, and Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland laugh during their meeting at the Maximos Mansion in Athens, Wednesday, May 25, 2016. Jagland told The Associated Press in an interview on Wednesday, that Greece has faced major problems in dealing with the refugee crisis but that the country has made significant efforts to handle the issues, although concerns remain about the detention of some asylum-seekers while their applications are being processed. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, left, and Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland laugh during their meeting at the Maximos Mansion in Athens, Wednesday, May 25, 2016. Jagland told The Associated Press in an interview on Wednesday, that Greece has faced major problems in dealing with the refugee crisis but that the country has made significant efforts to handle the issues, although concerns remain about the detention of some asylum-seekers while their applications are being processed. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)  (The Associated Press)

  • Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in Athens, Wednesday, May 25, 2016. Jagland said that Greece has faced major problems in dealing with the refugee crisis but that the country has made significant efforts to handle the issues, although concerns remain about the detention of some asylum-seekers while their applications are being processed. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in Athens, Wednesday, May 25, 2016. Jagland said that Greece has faced major problems in dealing with the refugee crisis but that the country has made significant efforts to handle the issues, although concerns remain about the detention of some asylum-seekers while their applications are being processed. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)  (The Associated Press)

A leading European human rights official says Greece has faced major problems in dealing with the refugee crisis but has made significant efforts to handle the issues.

Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland told The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday that concerns remain about the detention of some asylum-seekers while their applications are being processed.

He said that while the organization was mindful of criticism about the lengthy waits for asylum applications to be processed, this should also be balanced with the fact that such applications need individual attention.

He said the Council of Europe has expertise to assist both Greece and Turkey in the handling of the migration crisis.

Jagland spoke during a visit to Athens to discuss the refugee crisis with top Greek officials.