Syrian refugee Bashar Wakaa holds the head of his son at a makeshift camp for refugees and migrants next to the Moria camp on the island of Lesbos, Greece, November 30, 2017. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
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Greece will speed up the relocation of thousands of migrants from its overcrowded islands to the mainland before the onset of winter after reaching a deal with Turkey, a key ally in helping to tackle Europe's migration crisis, government sources said Monday.Athens persuaded Ankara last week to accept migrant returns from the mainland and not just from the Aegean islands as previously agreed under a 2016 EU-Turkey pact, one source told AFP. The new agreement -- reached during a strained two-day visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan -- aims to reduce the more than 15,000 people packed into refugee camps on the islands of Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros, another source said.Over a million people, mainly fleeing the civil war in Syria, crossed to Greece from Turkey in 2015 with the onset of the bloc's worst migration crisis since World War II.
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