EUROPEAN LEADERS PLEDGE MORE SUPPORT FOR AFRICAN COUNTRIES TO STEM MIGRATION

PARIS, The leaders of France, Germany, Spain and Italy Monday vowed to strengthen support for African countries in an effort to stem illegal migration.

The leaders issued a joint statement Monday evening following a meeting in Paris on migration, in which they were joined by their counterparts of Niger and Chad, along with head of Libya's United Nations (UN)-backed government and foreign policy chief of the European Union (EU).

"Migration is a transnational phenomenon that can not be tackled by a single state, but requires a high level of coordination within Europe and between European and African countries, which requires a long-term response to development," the statement said.

The European leaders agreed to help African countries, who are the main countries of origin or transit for illegal migrants, to enhance border control and help them combat human trafficking.

The statement underlined the financial effort by the EU, especially under the European Development Fund, to improve situations in the countries of origin, which aims to "address root causes, prevent departures and improve the capacity to return illegal migrants."

Moreover, the leaders vowed to explore "new instruments" for encouraging and facilitating voluntary returns and reintegration of illegal migrants, in cooperation with the UN's refugee agency.

"Our approach is in line with international law and is based on the plan of action adopted at the Valletta Summit by the EU and the African Union, which calls for shared responsibility between countries of origin, transit and destination," the statement said.

The meeting was called by French President Emmanuel Macron, who proposed last month to set up "hot spots" in Libya, Niger and Chad, where migrants would be screened for their asylum claims before reaching Europe.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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