Don’t exploit migrants for politics, pope says on Lesbos go to

Pope Francis has denounced Europe’s concern and indifference to migrants on his second go to to the Greek island of Lesbos.

Pope Francis has blasted Europe’s indifference to the plight of migrants because the “shipwreck of civilisation” throughout a go to to a refugee camp within the Greek island of Lesbos.

On Sunday, the chief of the Catholic Church arrived on the Mavrovouni camp, the place almost 2,200 asylum seekers at present reside. He’s on the second day of a five-day-long go to to Greece and Cyprus dominated by the problem of migration.

“I ask each man and girl, all of us, to beat the paralysis of concern, the indifference that kills, the cynical disregard that nonchalantly condemns to dying these on the fringes,” he mentioned. “Please, allow us to cease this shipwreck of civilisation.”

Utilizing latin phrases, he known as for the Mediterranean Sea to stay a bridge between cultures.

“Allow us to not let our sea (mare nostrum) be reworked right into a desolate sea of dying (mare mortuum),” he mentioned.

He additionally condemned the exploitation of migrants for political functions, lamenting that Europe had entered “an period of partitions and barbed wire”.

Pope Francis has criticised the indifference and self-interest proven by Europe in the direction of migrants [Alessandra Tarantino/AP]

The pope final visited Lesbos in 2016, when a couple of million folks crossed from Turkey into Greece and the island turned one of many busiest crossing points. On that event, Francis introduced 12 Syrian Muslim refugees home with him aboard the papal aircraft.

No such transfers had been introduced this time round, however the go to to the camp nonetheless raised hopes amongst its residents, a few of whom have given start to kids whereas ready for his or her asylum claims to be processed.

Enice Kiaku, from Congo, gave start to Guiliain two years in the past. He was born on the Greek island however has no id paperwork.

“The arrival of the pope right here makes us really feel blessed,” Kiaku advised The Related Press. “We have now a whole lot of issues right here as refugees, a whole lot of struggling.”

Francis was greeted upon arrival by a gaggle of African girls who sung for him. He patted the heads of kids and infants as he toured the camp and posed for selfies.

Pope Francis greeted kids in Mavrovouni camp on the Greek island on Lesbos. [Vatican Media/­Handout via Reuters]

He was accompanied by Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou and European Fee Vice-President Margaritis Schinas.

Greece has not too long ago constructed a metal wall alongside a piece of its border with Turkey and is intercepting boats transporting migrants from the Turkish facet.

It denies allegations that it’s finishing up abstract deportations of migrants reaching Greek territory however human rights teams say quite a few such pushbacks have occurred.

Francis additionally listened to the camp’s residents, amongst whom was Christian Tango Mukaya, a Congolese father of three, who thanked the pope for his present of solidarity and for his enchantment to Europe.

The refugee mentioned he misplaced monitor of his spouse and their third baby of their journey and hoped his visibility with the pope would possibly reunite them.

Mavrovouni is a brief holding centre pending the development on the island of a “closed managed facility”.

These new closed camps, that are funded by the European Union, are already working on three different Greek islands, Samos, Leros and Kos.

Amnesty Worldwide has mentioned that new EU-funded detention camps on Greek islands are in violation of Athens’ commitments to supply worldwide safety to these in want.