Greece recalls ambassador from Austria

Migrants cross the Greek-Macedonian border near the town of Gevgelija on 25 February 2016Image copyright

Image caption

Most migrants arrive in Greece and then head north through Balkan states

Greece has recalled its ambassador to Austria amid sharp divisions among EU states over the migrant crisis.

The move came after Austria hosted a meeting with Balkan states on the migrant issue, to which Greece was not invited.

Greece called the move an “unfriendly act”. It said its ambassador was recalled for “consultations”.

Ministers from EU and Balkan nations are meeting in Brussels to try to heal rifts over the migrant issue.

Austria, Serbia and Macedonia have taken their own steps to limit entry to migrants, angering Greece, which fears the controls will cause a bottleneck.

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In a statement, the Greek foreign ministry said that the ambassador was being recalled “in order to safeguard the friendly relations between the states and the people of Greece and Austria”.

More than 100,000 migrants have entered the EU illegally this year – nearly all of them arriving in Greece.

The surge in migration coupled with the failure to agree an EU-wide response has led to warnings about the bloc’s survival.

On Wednesday, representatives from 10 Balkan states attended talks in Austria and agreed to co-ordinate action to limit the flow of migrants.

The meeting drew an angry reaction from Greece, with the foreign ministry warning that “responsibility for dealing with the migration and refugee crisis cannot burden one country”.

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