East European, German foreign ministers to meet on migrant crisis Friday

10th September 2015, Comments 0 comments

The foreign ministers of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia will meet their counterparts from Germany and Luxembourg in Prague on Friday to discuss Europe's migrant crisis, the Czech foreign ministry said.

The meeting "shall contribute to better mutual understanding among EU member states in (the light of) some differing views concerning the solution of the current migration crisis," it said in a statement.

The European Union's eastern members have taken the hardest stance against compulsory quotas proposed by the EU Commission -- and championed by Germany -- to ensure fair distribution of refugees among the 28-member bloc.

The Visegrad-four prime ministers in unison rejected the quotas last week, adding that the EU should focus on tackling the root causes of the migrant crisis, protecting the Schengen borders and fighting migrant smugglers.

On Wednesday, European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker asked EU states to agree next week to relocate 160,000 refugees from overstretched EU frontline countries Greece, Hungary and Italy.

Under the plan, the Visegrad-four countries would take in thousands of refugees -- but far fewer than Germany and France.

Also on Wednesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on EU members to agree to a proportional distribution of refugees with no limits on actual numbers.

The ex-Communist Visegrad-four countries all joined the EU in 2004.

© 2015 AFP

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