World Bulletin / News Desk
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has urged European countries to stop criticizing each other over the growing refugee crisis and called for a common EU asylum policy that ensures fair distribution of refugees.
“We should stop pointing fingers at each other… I believe we will not accomplish anything this way,” Steinmeier said at a press conference with his Jordanian counterpart Nasser Judeh in Berlin Wednesday.
He said that Germany would present a 10-point plan during EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg this weekend, which proposes basic principles for a common asylum policy.
“The high numbers of refugees cannot be a reason for any improper treatment for them. Each country is responsible for hosting refugees in a humane way by making every possible effort,” Steinmeier said.
He underlined that each EU member state should register and accept applications of asylum seekers where they entered first.
“We will also discuss the question of fair distribution of refugees,” Steinmeier said.
Germany’s plan foresees binding and objective criteria for refugee quotas for all EU member states, taking into account their respective economic strength and capabilities.
Foreign ministers of EU member states and candidate countries will discuss the refugee crisis and international developments, during their informal meeting in Luxembourg on Sept. 4 and Sept. 5.
Turkey’s new Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu will also attend the meeting, Turkish Foreign Ministry announced Wednesday.
Europe is facing the biggest refugee crisis in decades, with thousands of asylum seekers from Middle Eastern and African countries trying to reach Western Europe.
In July, a record 100,000 reached EU borders, and Germany alone expects 800,000 asylum applications, four times the number last year.
Refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean has exceeded 300,000 in the first seven months of the year, including almost 200,000 people landing in Greece and 110,000 in Italy, according to the UN.
Syria’s neighbors Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon are also sharing a big burden.
Turkey is hosting 1.93 million refugees from neighboring Syria, including 217,000 in 22 camps, according to the UN Refugee Agency.
The total number of Syrian refugees worldwide exceeds four million.
Last Mod: 03 Eylül 2015, 09:10