Pope sends aide to Greek island to bring back 33 migrants

In this Thursday Oct. 3, 2019 photo, an Afghan man looks out of his tent in a makeshift refugee and migrant camp on the fringes of the overcrowded Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. Greece's conservative government announced Wednesday Nov. 20, 2019, plans to overhaul the country's migration management system, and replacing existing camps on the islands with detention facilities and moving and 20,000 asylum seekers to the mainland over the next few weeks.

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican says Pope Francis has dispatched a close aide to the Greek island of Lesbos to bring back 33 asylum-seekers to Rome.

Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the papal almsgiver, headed Monday to Lesbos.

The Vatican says he’ll return Wednesday with the migrants.

When returning to Italy from visiting Lesbos in 2016, Francis took three Syrian families of asylum-seekers with him aboard his flight.

Francis asked Krajewski to go to “renew solidarity to the Greek people and to the refugees.”

The pope, according to the Vatican, wants to make “a further gesture of solidarity” in hosting young refugees and families from Afghanistan, Cameroon and Togo.

Ten more refugees will be brought to Italy from Lesbos later this month.

U.N. officials say minors risk exploitation at overcrowded migrant camps on Greek islands.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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