01:10 GMT +312 November 2019
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    Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz (File)

    Kurz Opposes Possibility to Apply for Asylum From Disembarkation Platforms

    © AFP 2019 / John MACDOUGALL
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    VIENNA (Sputnik) - Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on Monday criticized the potential possibility for migrants to apply for asylum from regional disembarkation platforms, warning that the facilities could turn into another new magnet for migrants and nudge the latter toward risky sea travels across the Mediterranean.

    "If we really let [migrants] apply for asylum [from such camps], we will create an unthinkable factor of gravity," Kurz told the Osterreich 1 (O1) radio station.

    He also expressed doubt that "all 60 million people who are fleeing their homes" in various parts of the world automatically have the right to apply for asylum in Europe.

    READ MORE: Austria to Be Tough on Migrants During EU Presidency — Report

    According to Kurz, it would be more reasonable to first evacuate such people from crisis-hit regions rather than spur them to embark on a risky travel across the Mediterranean.

    On Thursday, the European Council summit agreed on several aspects of EU migration policy, including the establishment of "regional disembarkation platforms in close cooperation with relevant third countries" and controlled centers in the EU member states to process asylum applications. The resettlement or relocation of migrants across the bloc is expected to be done on voluntary basis amid the lack of consensus.

    European countries have been experiencing a severe migration crisis since 2015 due to the influx of thousands of migrants and refugees fleeing crises and poverty in the Middle East and North Africa.

    Following the two-day European Council summit, which kicked off on Thursday, the EU leaders said that the bloc intended to pay more attention to cooperation with the countries of migrants’ transit and origin.


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