Dacic: Serbia to respond to moves by Austria, Slovenia and Croatia in tackling migrant crisis

Serbia will take appropriate measures if Croatia, Slovenia and Austria make unilateral moves in managing the migrant crisis, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said on Tuesday after meeting with his Slovenian counterpart Karl Erjavec.

"It is important that we keep one another informed of measures and activities being taken," Dacic told a press conference after the meeting, adding that "Serbia wants and expects the EU to define a clear European policy on the migrant crisis."

Dacic said that Serbia had accepted about 35,000 migrants since the beginning of the year.

Erjavec said he had come to Belgrade to present Slovenian President Miro Cerar's initiative regarding the migrant crisis, noting that about 420,000 migrants had arrived in Slovenia in less than four months.

"We know we can expect an increase in the migration wave in the coming months. Unfortunately, there is no common European solution and that's why our prime minister has proposed an initiative to solve this problem," Erjavec said.

Without revealing details of Cerar's initiative, Erjavec said that Ljubljana would take appropriate action if Austria and Germany introduced more stringent rules for the admission of migrants. "Coordination between the countries along the migration route is very important and Serbia plays an important role there," he added.

Dacic said that the closure of the borders and other unilateral measures relating to the Schengen agreement would cause chain reactions along the Western Balkan migration route. "It is expected that such measures will be taken by Austria, which will probably provoke a reaction from Slovenia and then Croatia. That's why we too must take certain measures and activities," he said, adding that it was most important to avoid unilateral solutions. He said that steps Serbia would take would depend on the reaction of other countries on the migration route.

Erjavec had earlier met with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic. Vucic thanked Slovenia for supporting his country in the EU integration process and Erjavec said that relations between the two countries were very good, noting that trade over the last year had reached about a billion euros.

Last update: Tue, 19/01/2016 - 17:14

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