ANKARA

The European Union and Greece on Thursday agreed to establish a reception center for refugees and asylum seekers on Greece’s island of Lesvos by September of next year.

“The memorandum signed today sets out the respective responsibilities and areas of cooperation between the Commission, the Greek authorities, and EU agencies,” said a statement from European Commission.

“Today’s agreement comes in addition to €121 million in EU funding granted to Greece last month for the construction of 3 smaller reception centres on the islands of Samos, Kos, and Leros, also to be completed by September 2021,” it added.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the bloc and Greece are working together for the people of the island.

“We will bring decent conditions to migrants and refugees who arrive, as well as supporting the communities on the Greek islands,” she said.

“It is also about fast and fair procedures, so the centres are what they should be – only a temporary stop before either return or integration,” she added.

A fire at Moria camp this September left more than 12,000 people without shelter, sanitation, food and water, forcing them to sleep in fields and nearby cemeteries.

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