Merkel, Czech PM agree on cooperation with African countries in curbing migration

Source: Xinhua| 2018-10-27 02:41:41|Editor: ZX
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PRAGUE, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis on Friday agreed on the necessity to cooperate with African countries in curbing migration to Europe.

Addressing a press conference after their meeting here, Merkel said both sides were convinced about the need to achieve win-win situation where the economic development of African states would be possible and thereby create reasons for local young people to stay in their own countries and not to have to leave.

She said the the European Union-Turkey agreement on returning migrants works well and it might become a model for other countries.

Babis said both leaders shared the view on the need to cooperate with African countries, especially from an economic point of view, to better deal with illegal migration.

Neither of the politicians spoke of the quota for the distribution of refugees among the EU member states, which Germany supported in the past and the Czech Republic opposed.

Merkel also condemned the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying she would push for a joint EU stance on the case. She said Germany has already halted arm export to Saudi Arabia until the whole case is investigated. Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek said earlier on Friday that the Czech Republic would promote at the next EU foreign ministers' meeting that the EU take a resolute stance on this case.

Moreover, Merkel said the EU is a multi-speed project already now, and it cannot continue waiting until all 27 member countries join the cooperation. Nevertheless, a chance to join in must remain open to all members. Babis said it is incorrect to divide the EU into the V4 countries and the rest. He said Czech is a pro-European country and strongly wants the EU to function well.

Merkel visited Prague in connection with the centenary celebrations of Czechoslovakia's establishment on Friday. Her talks with Babis focussed on bilateral topics and EU-related issues, primarily migration.