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  HOME | World (Click here for more)

Berlin: Migrant Return Agreements with EU Partners Liable to Be Difficult

BERLIN – The German government said on Tuesday that future negotiations with European Union partners to discuss the devolution of migrants already registered for asylum in another EU country could prove very difficult.

These bilateral talks are due to begin this month with EU partners such as Italy and Greece where migrants, currently in Germany, may have been first registered upon arrival to EU territory, in accordance with EU guidelines.

The German interior minister and leader of Bavaria’s conservative Christian Social Union (CSU), Horst Seehofer, nearly scuttled Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Grand Coalition over the migrant issue. Minister Seehofer spoke during a press conference and warned these talks could become extremely complex due to conflicting interests but hinted some degree of optimism.

“These will be very difficult talks but results can be obtained,” the minister pointed out.

This week’s meeting of EU Interior ministers in Innsbruck, Austria, will provide a “good opportunity” for such talks, although Seehofer was unable to offer a specific timeframe for ensuing results.

However, he did advance the first round of bilateral talks would be to exchange information and “seek negotiation limits” with each member state prior to discussing specific issues in the next round of talks.

Regarding Italy and its new government’s anti-migrant policy, Seehofer admitted feeling “certain sympathy” towards the EU nation currently bearing the “weight” of Europe’s migratory issue.

Minister Seehofer recently threatened Chancellor Merkel with the unilateral closure of Germany’s borders to migrants already registered for asylum in another member country, their first EU point of entry, as stated in the EU Dublin agreement.

The German chancellor had to pull-out all her resources to provide a “European solution” to the migration crisis in order to appease Seehofer and avoid fracturing her government’s coalition.

 

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