European Union leaders offer Turkey a detailed package of cash and incentives to agree that all migrants attempting to cross the Aegean Sea by raft or boat would be sent back to Turkey which, in effect, becomes the region's migrant holding center. A number of stumbling blocks remain, such as raising the amount of aid from 3 billion euros to at least 6 billion euros; reducing the "72 arduous conditions" the Turks must meet to implement visa-free travel for Turkish citizens; Europe agrees to accelerate talks with Ankara on its EU bid; etc. Human Rights Watch protests the proposed fast-track collective expulsions that fail to take individual circumstances into account and breach peoples' right to seek asylum.
Greek police say they came under fire on the country’s northeastern border with Turkey during the arrest of two suspected migrant smugglers who had just ferried 22 people across the Evros river that runs along the Greek-Turkish border. [http:--neurope.eu-wires-the-latest-greek-police-come-under-fire-as-they-arrest-suspected-migrant-smugglers- (AP via New Europe)]date=August 2019
Balkan and European leaders agree to work together implementing a 17-point action plan that includes United Nations-aided accommodation for 100,000 places in reception centers along the route from Greece towards Germany, half in Greece and half in the countries to the north. Some of the other measures: within a week, deploy 400 police officers to Slovenia; step up efforts to return migrants not needing international protection; and, reinforce support of the bloc’s border agency, Frontex', role in securing external borders between Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, and Albania.
Human Rights Watch says unidentified armed men have been disabling boats carrying migrants and asylum seekers in the Aegean Sea traveling from Turkey toward the Greek islands. Witnesses have described eight incidents this month in which masked assailants intercepted and disabled the boats by damaging engines or fuel systems, and in the case of inflatable boats, attempting to puncture hulls.
A five-year-old Syrian girl dies and several other refugees are missing after their boat sinks in the Aegean Sea near the Greek island of Lesbos. The Greek Coast Guard says it rescued 11 people from the boat carrying 26 people.