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Lajčák: Accepting more illegal immigrants would be empty gesture
16 Dec 2013 Flash News
The European Union realises the potential risk that Islamic terrorists may be among the thousands of migrants that are pouring to Europe from conflict in the Mideast and northern Africa, Slovak Foreign Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák told the TASR newswire in reaction to statements made by his Italian counterpart Emma Bonino.
According to the Italian minister, the EU obviously is not fully aware of the security risk and it would be irresponsible of the Union to leave the problem to Italy, which is a key transit country for migrants from northern Africa.
EU foreign affairs ministers debated the issue of illegal immigration in November.
"It was a debate without any conclusions for the time being about the tools that Europe may use to tackle it," said Lajčák, adding that the debate is only at its beginning and it will take some time to adopt any specific measures.
"European countries that are affected by illegal immigration the most are making justified claims that the Union should distribute the cost, as it's a problem of the entire Union," said Lajčák.
When asked whether Slovakia may contribute by accepting more immigrants as other countries have done, Lajčák said that Slovakia serves only as a transit country for illegal migrants.
"It wouldn't be appropriate to make any gestures stating that we'll accept more people when it has been clear that they would leave the country within a few weeks anyway. Nonetheless, nobody challenges the need to find a European solution and distribute the burden and Slovakia supports this. It requires a systematic solution, however," added the Slovak foreign affairs minister.
Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports
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