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Schengen zone is crucial for coping with migrants, Czech reps say

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Prague, April 14 (CTK) – The maintaining and protection of the Schengen Area is crucial for coping with the migration crisis, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, President Milos Zeman and four other top constitutional officials of the country agreed tonight.
Migration and cooperation between the European Union and Turkey based on the EU-Turkey deal on migration, which took effect on March 20, was one of the key topics of the meeting. Based on the deal, all refugees who sail to Greek islands and are not granted asylum will be returned to Turkey.
Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek dismissed the view that Ankara blackmailed Brussels.
“If Europe has the feeling that it is in a disadvantageous position, Europeans are to blame for it. If we had been capable of protecting our borders, we would not have been in a position of somebody who needs help,” Zaoralek said.
It is thanks to Ankara that the numbers of migrants in Europe are falling, he said.
The top constitutional official declared in a written statement that Turkey is a partner that plays a key role in coping with the stream of migrants. The EU must be capable of protecting its borders with its own means, they said, praising the establishment of a European border and coast guard.
The politicians agreed that the Czech Republic would keep participating in the present foreign missions and international groupings.
Zaoralek said the deployment of Czech soldiers in the next two years was discussed. He said this concerned first of all Afghanistan, Mali and the Golan Heights.
The politicians agreed that the commitments of NATO’s Readiness Action Plan primarily need to be met.
Sobotka, Zaoralek, Zeman, Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky and the chairmen of the two houses of Czech parliament also talked about energy security and they condemned the recent terror attacks in Brussels.

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