Croatian PM: Closing Balkan route should be main message

Arriving at an EU-Turkey summit on the migrant crisis in Brussels on Monday, Croatian Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic said that he expected that the main message of the meeting would be the closing of the western Balkan migrant route which Middle Eastern refugees are using to reach western Europe.

"The main message will be that the western Balkan route will be closed. This is connected with the reinforcement of the Schengen rules, and this is where pressure can be expected, but it is clear to all of us that the Schengen rules should be reinforced. In parallel, the EU should help Greece and we should be acquainted with the position of Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutogly," said Oreskovic while coming for the start of the EU-Turkey meeting on how to manage the migrant crisis.

This has been the second summit meeting of this kind in a span of four months, with the 28-strong bloc trying to find a solution to the migrant crisis.

Oreskovic said that the talks would revolve also around the role of NATO and its assistance in the Aegean Sea in attempts to counter migrant smugglers.

According to media, a copy of the Conclusions Draft prepared by the European Commission reads that the immediate end of the migrants' flow would a top priority of the EU policy.

According to the draft, the irregular migrant’s flow along the Western Balkan route comes to an end and this route is now closed.

However, several diplomatic sources have said that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, insist that those sentences be omitted from the final version of the document.

The Chancellor's spokeswoman, Christiane Wirtz, said that she had heard about speculations on the closing of the Balkan route.

I want to say that those are speculations, and the negotiations are under way, the spokeswoman said.

Last update: Fri, 24/06/2016 - 08:49

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