Bulgaria Plans to Initiate EU Discussion to Make Anti-IS Strategy More Efficient

Bulgaria in EU | August 31, 2015, Monday // 18:51|  views

Bulgaria plans to initiate a discussion within the EU on the need to add new elements to the bloc’s strategy for combatting the Islamic State (IS) group, the country’s Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov has said.

In an interview for 24 Chasa news daily published on Monday Mitov said that migrants are using the so-called Balkan route to reach western Europe increasingly often, which requires changes to be made to the existing EU strategy for addressing the problem.   

”We must distinguish between refugees and economic migrants, and attitudes towards each of these groups should be different,” Mitov said. “At the moment, the European strategy is lacking this element and it’s obvious that we need to modify it.”

“We’ve been talking about countering migratory pressure at European Council level for more than half a year now but it’s obvious that this pressure doesn’t subside. It’s clear that a more serious discussion is needed and new elements must be added.”

Mitov also highlighted the need to intensify contacts with third countries, particularly on readmission and repatriation of migrants. Stepping up the fight against people trafficking is another essential element of the needed update to the strategy of countering Islamic State, he said.

A discussion on the need to add new elements to the anti-IS strategy should be held both in the EU and NATO formats as well as within the US-led coalition against the jihadist organisation, according to Mitov.

Bringing Iran and Russia closer into such discussion is essential for the achieving of its goals, he added.  

Looking at Turkey, Mitov opined that Ankara “has to focus on Islamic State and not allow recent events to destroy the progress in the structured and well established dialogue with the Kurds achieved over the years.”

“This is important for the stability of our neighbor,” Mitov said.


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Tags: Bulgaria, Mitov, EU, Islamic state, discussion, turkey, Iran, Russia, NATO, IS


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