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Photograph: Photo by Platforma Obywatelska RP, used under CC BY-SA

European Council President Donald Tusk will visit the capitals of countries along the Western Balkans migrant route as part of preparations for an EU-Turkey summit early next month.

Tusk will visit Vienna, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Skopje and Athens on 1-3 March "to continue building a European consensus on how to handle the migration crisis and to prepare for the summit with Turkey on 7 March and the European Council on 17-18 March," his office announced.

In his address to the European Parliament on Wednesday, Tusk stressed the need to ensure normal functioning of the Schengen free-travel zone. "We need to invest in Schengen, not in its collapse. Its future  will be one of the key issues to be discussed by the leaders on 7 March," he said, calling for a comprehensive European plan to tackle the migrant crisis.

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