21:14 GMT +322 March 2019
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    Flowers lay on top of coffins with the remains of 13 migrants who were among up to 800 people who died in a shipwreck in April, in Catania, Sicily, Italy, Tuesday, July 7, 2015

    EU Leaders Responsible for Deaths of Migrants Trying to Reach Europe

    © AP Photo / Carmelo Imbesi
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    Leader of France’s National Front party Marine Le Pen criticized French President Francois Hollande who "should use diplomacy before weapons" in the Syrian conflict and his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy for urging airstrikes in Libya.

    PARIS (Sputnik) — European leaders are responsible for the deaths of undocumented migrants who are losing their lives trying to reach Europe, leader of France’s National Front party Marine Le Pen said Friday.

    The comments come two days after a number of European media outlets published an image of a Syrian child's washed up body on a Turkish beach. The three-year-old boy and his family were reportedly on board a boat that sank on its way to the Greek island of Kos.

    "This photo is a proof of the terrible responsibility of our authorities, because there are thousands, tens of thousands of migrants who daily try to go this deadly route, just because the European Union has already welcomed others before them," Le Pen said in an interview with the French RTL radio.

    She also criticized French President Francois Hollande who "should use diplomacy before weapons" in the Syrian conflict and his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy for urging airstrikes in Libya. According to Le Pen, their activities contributed to the destabilization of these states, which has led to people fleeing to Europe.

    Estimates from the European Union's external border protection agency Frontex show that over 340,000 migrants were detected at the bloc's external borders between January and July 2015, which is three times higher than during the same period in 2014.

    In 2015, some 2,370 migrants have died while attempting to reach Europe by sea, according to the International Organization for Migration.


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