Salzburg Forum Countries Reaffirm Commitment to Cooperate in Stemming Migrant InfluxEU | July 1, 2016, Friday // 13:38| views
Photo: Ministry of Interior
The countries participating in the Salzburg Forum reaffirmed their commitment to cooperate in dealing with the migrant influx.
This became clear after a meeting of the police directors of the participating countries held under Austrian initiative in Vienna on Thursday.
Bulgaria was represented by Deputy Chief Secretary of the interior ministry, Georgi Abadzhiev, the interior ministry informs.
Apart from the nine participating countries, the meeting was also attended by representatives of Macedonia, Serbia and Greece as well as Europol and Frontex.
The meeting was continuation of three previous gatherings in the same format organised by Bulgaria during the country's chairmanship in 2015 and March 2016.
It was also a follow-up of the meeting of the border police directors of the participating countries held in Budapest last week.
The participants discussed the latest developments concerning the migratory pressure in individual countries.
They assessed positively the joint actions and improved cooperation, which have led to decrease in the number of illegal migrants on the so-called Western Balkan migrant route.
Police directors expressed readiness to continue closely monitoring the situation and to build upon existing cooperation in order to prevent the emergence of new routes.
Abadzhiev highlighted that migrant pressure exerted on Bulgaria has decreased by 30 % since the beginning of the year compared to the same period in 2015.
He added that a high level of cooperation with all neighbouring countries has been achieved.
Abadzhiev pointed that Turkey has not yet started fulfilling the readmission agreement by refusing to accept the return of citizens of third countries.
According to him, this was not only a problem limited to bilateral relations between Bulgarian and Turkey, but a matter of concern to all EU member states.
Abadzhiev thanked for the support provided to the country within the framework of Frontex operations on Bulgarian territory.
The Salzburg Forum is a Central European security partnership initiated by the Austrian interior ministry which brings together Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
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