The Associated Press reported that the Greek Coast Guard conducted 20 search operations from Thursday to Friday around various eastern Aegean Greek islands that led to the rescue of 665 migrants and refugees.
The missions were conducted around the islands of Agathonisi, Chios, Kos, Lesvos, Megisti and Samos. Greece has had over 200,000 migrants and refugees enter its borders through the sea since the beginning of 2015.
In the face of the migrant influx to the Balkans in hopes of entering the Schengen Area, German Chancellor Angela Merkel highlighted the importance of assistance to the western Balkan nations from the European Union, during an EU-Balkans summit in Vienna on Thursday. The Chancellor called the unprecedented influx a “huge challenge.”