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Latvia favors voluntary acceptance of refugees — PM

September 09, 2015, 17:44 UTC+3 RIGA
According to the European Commission document, Latvia has to accept 526 refugees, the issue would be discussed in the national government and with the partners within the ruling coalition
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© AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic, Archive

RIGA, September 9. /TASS/. Latvia is in favor of the voluntary acceptance of refugees from Africa and the Middle East, without deviating from the solidarity with the European countries in this issue, the country’s Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma told reporters on Wednesday.

"According to Juncker’s document [President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker], which has been sent to the EU member-countries within an hour, Latvia has to accept 526 refugees," she said.

According to her, Latvia’s stance on accepting illegal migrants has not changed. "As you know, for the Baltic countries it is the voluntary acceptance of refugees. But we do not reject solidarity. That’s our stance. We will not talk about the figures today," she added.

Straujuma also noted that the issue would be discussed in the national government and with the partners within the ruling coalition.

Latvia’s Cabinet earlier decided to voluntarily accept 250 refugees within the next two years: 200 from Greece and Italy, and 50 from third countries. The country is planning to accept the first group of illegal migrants this coming winter.

According to the new quota, Latvia is to accept additional 526 refugees.

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