Poposki- Zaoralek: Macedonia will not turn into refugee camp

All stakeholders should meet their obligations. We will provide accommodation in Macedonia for all founded asylum applications, as well as every aspect we are internationally obliged to, but we will not allow for the country to turn into a refugee camp, because migrants do not parachute in Macedonia, but enter from an EU member-state, said Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki after Wednesday's meeting with Czech counterpart Lubomir Zaoralek.

"We will provide humane and safe transit for all, we will apply all decisions passed at European level, we will cooperate as before with Greece and other member-states which provide support, such as the Czech Republic", said Poposki.

He noted that both countries are aware of the importance that the migrant crisis has for the EU and countries along the Balkan route.

"For us it is important to implement agreement reached at European level. To provide assistance to Turkey for refugees at its territory and control of its borders, but also in the control of EU's external border in Greece. Macedonia wants to cooperate with Greece but without unilateral solutions. We need to work together towards control, safe and humane treatment of migrants and all those eligible for asylum in some European country", said Poposki.

Besides the migrant crisis, Poposki and Zaoralek also referred to Macedonia's EU and NATO integration and bilateral economic cooperation.

The Czech minister said Prague supported Macedonia's EU and NATO accession, adding the country was part of Friends of Macedonia group.

A group of Czech businessmen is accompanying FM Zaoralek in order to get detailed information about Macedonia's investment opportunities.

"We have excellent cooperation. The position of the Czech Republic towards Macedonia remains unchanged when it comes to EU and NATO integration. We are concerned by the internal political developments in Macedonia, especially with regards to the rule of law and media freedom, and believe these problems should be solved as soon as possible. Moreover, elections should also be held in due time so that the country appoints officials capable of solving Macedonian, but also EU's problems", said Zaoralek.

He added they have come to cooperate with Macedonia in the migrant crisis and prevent the country from becoming a refugee camp.

"The Czech Republic has not only provided humanitarian assistance, but deployed 27 police officers at the border. We do not want to observe from the side, but be active participants in the problem's solution", stressed FM Zaoralek.

Interlocutors agreed that bilateral political cooperation is excellent, saying economic cooperation could enhance, primarily in the fields of energy and tourism.

"There is great potential in the field of investments. Therefore, we have organized a business forum for networking of the countries' business communities. Energy and tourism are the sectors where we can obviously do much more. The re-introduction of Skopje-Prague flight is significant in this regard", said Poposki.

In addition, Poposki and Zaoralek agreed over the necessity for sooner end to the political crisis in Macedonia, since it can be used by all those who want to further delay the country's start of EU accession talks. 

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