11:43 GMT +308 December 2019
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    Slovenian soldiers build a razor wire fence on the Slovenian-Croatian border in Gibina, northeastern Slovenia, on November 11, 2015

    Slovenia Shuts Borders Amid Refugee Influx

    © AFP 2019 / Jure Makovec
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    Slovenia said on Tuesday it would introduce new border restrictions on the entry of migrants, effectively blocking the way of those trying to reach the European Union via the Balkans, Agence France Presse reported.

    Only migrants who are seeking asylum in the Balkan countries and do not plan to continue on to somewhere else in Europe, or those with clear humanitarian needs will be allowed to enter the country, the Slovenian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

    Meanwhile, Serbia's Interior Ministry said that Slovenia will demand valid EU visas at its borders as of midnight Tuesday, effectively closing the main Balkan migration route toward Western Europe, the Associated Press reported.

    The ministry said that Serbia will coordinate its moves with the EU and close its borders with Macedonia and Bulgaria for refugees and other migrants who don't have valid visas.

    The decision will prevent thousands of migrants currently stranded in Greece on the border with Macedonia from proceeding north toward Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and Austria.

    Turkey and the European Union clinched a landmark deal  on Tuesday on a proposal to tackle the massive influx of refugees into Europe.

    Ankara reaffirmed an agreement with Greece to take back migrants attempting to reach the European Union — a key condition set by EU leaders ahead of the meeting.

    The six-point agreement will put an end to the illegal flow of migrants from the Near and Middle East into the European Union  via the Balkans and will help restore visa-free travel within the 28-nation bloc.

    According to the latest Frontex data, about 1.8 million refugees entered the European Union in 2015.


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