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EU must not strip migrants of their rights, official says

Prime Minister of Luxembourg Xavier Bettel in Brussels, Belgium on 17 October 2019 [Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency]
Prime Minister of Luxembourg Xavier Bettel in Brussels, Belgium on 17 October 2019 [Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency]

The European Union has to find the right balance to tackle the Belarus migrant scheme but not strip people attempting to cross the bloc's borders of their fundamental rights, the Luxembourg premier said today, according to Reuters.

"These people are not being treated adequately, also by various European countries, and I am convinced there is room for improvement," Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel told reporters in Brussels where European leaders are set to discuss migration on the second day of an EU summit.

"All measures we take must be in line with human rights. We cannot simply strip people of the most fundamental rights, the right of asylum. An orderly migration must remain possible. We need to find the right balance," he said.

EU member states accuse Belarus of providing migrants tourist visas then "forcing them to illegally cross to neighbouring countries" to destabalise the union and distract from human rights abuses carried out by the government in Minsk.

READ: Syrian refugee found drowned in river at Belarus-Poland border

The migrants, many of them from Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Iran, seek asylum when they reach European Union member states.

Neighbouring Poland, Lithuania and Latvia declared states of emergency after a sharp increase in arrivals at their borders with Belarus.

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AfghanistanAsia & AmericasBelarusEUEurope & RussiaInternational OrganisationsIranIraqMiddle EastNewsSyria
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