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Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey establish joint border center

SOFIA, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Bulgaria, Turkey and Greece here on Monday signed an agreement for the creation of a tripartite contact center for police and customs cooperation in a bid to tackle illegal migration, smuggling and terrorism.

In this contact center, police and customs authorities of the three countries would be able to share information in real time and react appropriately against illegal immigration and smuggling, Turkish Interior Minister Sebahattin Ozturk said at the signing ceremony.

The uncertainties south of the Turkish border influenced other countries, and Turkey currently sheltered 2 million emigrants, 1.7 million of them Syrian refugees, Ozturk said.

His Bulgarian counterpart Rumiana Bachvarova said this center, the first tripartite contact center in the Balkans, would be located in Bulgaria's Kapitan Andreevo checkpoint, near the spot where the three countries have a common border.

She said the agreement would ensure the better cooperation among the three countries that have faced the same global problems -- migration, organized crime and terrorism.

Immigration was a major problem throughout Europe, and this part of the common European border was extremely important, sensitive to possible pressure.

In turn, Ioannis Panousis, Greek Alternate Minister of Citizen Protection, said the joint efforts and plans would strengthen resistance against criminal activity and illegal migration.

He believed that this center would be a center not only for police cooperation, but also for interaction among the peoples of the three countries.

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