Ivanov the Great: Refugee Camps in Macedonia Not Allowed
Monday, 06 March 2017

Austrian foreign minister Sebastian Kurz has argued his case for the opening of refugee centers outside the borders of the European Union suggesting Georgia and the Western Balkans as possible locations.

“We need refugee centers outside the EU, which are operated together with the UNHCR [UN Refugee agency]”, Kurz said in an interview with the German Bild newspaper. He was joined by Jens Spahn, a member of Germany's ruling party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

According to the Austrian FM, the location of these camps is not important. What is important for such camps is to “provide protection” and “that people, who are trying to enter Europe illegally, are brought back,” he added.

Such facilities could be located in Egypt, Georgia or a country in the Western Balkans, Kurz said, adding that the Mediterranean route should be closed for illegal immigrants.

The Macedonian presidential cabinet issued a statement after the public wondered whether such camps could appear in Macedonia.

"In relation to the migrant crisis, Macedonia, just as today and in the future will be protecting its national security. No decision that will propose setting up a camp in a country that's not member of the EU is a solution because of lack of capacity, resources and their inability to cope with massive number of migrants. In such case, the stability of the country is brought into question. Because of this, no such camps can be set up in countries not part of the EU. Macedonia is firm on its position that such centers must be safe where people can be properly vetted and receive security and humanitarian help. These camps need to be near the location of the crisis. Macedonia is a transit country in this process and will not have such camps on its territory" concludes the press release.

President Ivanov strikes again.


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