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Migrants: Visegrad Group pledges 35m euros to support Italy

Migrants: Visegrad Group pledges 35m euros to support Italy
Foto: John Thys/Afp 
Il primo ministro slovacco, Robert Fico (Afp) 

Brussels - Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic have vowed to contribute some 9 million euros each to support Italy in projects aiming at stopping illegal migration from Libya. The pledge was announced on Thursday by Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico ahead of an EU summit in Brussels focusing on issues including migration.
"We want to demonstrate that solidarity is something that we fully respect," Fico told journalists after a meeting of Visegrad Group leaders with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni. Gentiloni thanked the Visegrad Group for the financial pledge, but said mandatory migrant quotas were a "minimum requirement" by the EU. After arriving in Brussels for the summit, Poland's new Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said earlier on Thursday that Poland's stance on refugees was becoming better understood in the European Union. "We will be presenting our approach to relocation policy, to policy on refugees. I am very happy that this approach is becoming increasingly understood in Brussels," said Morawiecki, who was on his first foreign trip as prime minister. In September 2015, EU leaders agreed that each country in the bloc would accept a number of migrants over two years to alleviate the pressure on Italy and Greece, which have seen waves of migrants arriving from the Middle East and Africa. EU leaders agreed to relocate a total of about 160,000 migrants of more than 2 million people who arrived in Europe since 2015.