Jovana Gec, AP, July 16, 2016
Serbia will deploy joint army and police patrols on the borders with Bulgaria and Macedonia to curb illegal entry of migrants and people smuggling, the Balkan country’s prime minister said Saturday.
Serbia’s move comes days after EU member Hungary started applying harsher border control rules that include sending migrants back to Serbia, which has left hundreds stranded in make-shift camps along the Serbia-Hungary border.
Serbia’s Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said there are nearly 3,000 people currently in Serbia with many more coming in daily through Bulgaria and Macedonia. He said that most of the migrants in Serbia came from Afghanistan and Pakistan and stand no chance of asylum in any EU country.
“Serbia cannot be a parking ground for people from Afghanistan or Pakistan whom no one else in Europe wishes to accept,” Vucic said at a press conference. “Serbia must protect its national interests.”
Vucic added that migrants who ask for asylum in Serbia will be granted help, but that the authorities will crack down on illegal entry.