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Serbia won't allow migrants to return to its territory — FM

January 19, 20:37 UTC+3 BELGRADE
"Serbia will react appropriately if some neighbouring countries take unilateral steps," Ivica Dacic said
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© EPA/DJORDJE SAVIC

BELGRADE, January 19 /TASS/. Serbia will not allow migrants to return to its territory from the neighbouring countries, Serbia’s First Vice-Premier and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic told journalists after meeting his Slovenian counterpart Karl Erjavec on Tuesday.

"Serbia will not allow the refugees to return to its territory and will react appropriately if some neighbouring countries take unilateral steps," Dacic said. He explained that Serbia would be forced to act that way if Croatia, Slovenia and Austria resort to unilateral solutions of the refugee and migrant problem.

Dacic said that Erjavec had arrived in Belgrade to brief the Serbian leadership on the initiatives of Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar on ways on ending the migrant crisis. Without looking into the details of those initiatives, Dacic said the two countries should inform each other the measures and steps they planned to take.

"Serbia asks and respects the European Union to establish a clear-cut European policy on this (migrant) issue," Dacic told journalists.

The Serbian foreign minister confirmed that Serbia was against unilateral actions of any of the states and assumed that all the measures should be part of a single and unified European policy. According to Dacic, the closure of borders and the reduction of their pass-through capacities; the suspension of the Schengen agreement, which Austria is planning to do, as well as other unilateral actions will cause a chain reaction along the entire line of the West Balkan route of migrant flows.

Dacic said that Serbia would not allow migrants to stay in the country. "No one will stay in Serbia if they have not officially applied for asylum according to international procedures. If anybody wants to resolve the problem in hope that the migrants will stay in Serbia, they will not succeed in doing that," Dacic warned. He wondered ironically why the migrants were not heading for Kosovo, which, he said, "is the centre of democracy and development and a strong and prosperous territory.".

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