Macedonia Calls for EU-wide Solution to Migrant Crisis

Southeast Europe | February 10, 2016, Wednesday // 17:18|  views

Macedonian soldiers erect a second line of protective fence on the border line between Greece and Macedonia, near the town of Gevgelija, Macedonia, 08 February 2016. EPA/BGNES

Macedonia won’t allow to be turned into a refugee camp, the country’s Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki has stated, referring to the influx of asylum seekers transiting the Balkan country from Greece on their way to the EU.

“We will provide humane and safe transit for all, we will apply all decisions passed at European level, we will cooperate as before with Greece and other member states, which provide support, such as the Czech Republic,” Poposki told reporters after a meeting with his Czech counterpart Lubomir Zaoralek in Skopje on Wednesday, according to MIA.

Poposki said that for the Macedonian government it was important to implement agreements reached at EU level; to provide assistance to Turkey for refugees and control of the Turkish border but also in the control of EU’s external border in Greece.

“Macedonia wants to cooperate with Greece but without unilateral solutions. We need to work together towards control. Safe and humane treatment of migrants and all those eligible for asylum in some European country,” MIA quoted Popski as saying.

The Macedonian authorities have begun building a second layer of the existing metal border fence along the country’s border with Greece to stem the influx of asylum seekers crossing into the country, the AP reported on Tuesday.

Only refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq have been allowed to cross Macedonia’s border with Greece on their journey to western Europe since November, but migrants from other countries have still tried to get across.

Last month, the European Commission pledged to increase security at the Greek-Macedonian frontier, where more than 60 police officers from other countries, including the Czech Republic, are deployed to help control the migrant flow.

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Tags: macedonia, greece, border, Czech Republic, Zaoralek, Poposki


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