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Babiš praising Germany for position on debate on refugees

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Davos, Switzerland, Jan 25 (CTK correspondent) – It is a good thing that the German government is ready to finish the discussion about a more even redistribution of refugees, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis told journalists during his visit to the World Economic Forum on Thursday.

The Czech Republic is trying to speak about its rejection of the refugee quotas at all opportunities and to gain support for its views, Babis said.

The German news agency DPA has written that German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere was speaking about a provisional ending of the discussion about the redistribution of refugees on the fringes of Thursday’s informal meeting of EU interior ministers in Sofia.

If a reform of EU asylum policy is to be achieved, it would make sense to resolve at first with other topics, de Maiziere said.

“We are glad. I spoke about it yesterday (on Wednesday), when I had a breakfast with the prime minister of Saxony, we are speaking about it everywhere,” Babis said.

Babis said he also wanted to gain support for Czech views at the Friday meeting of the Visegrad Four (the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary) in Budapest as well as the planned Monday meeting in Brussels with President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.

He said he had also expressed his view of the EU future during his Thursday’s programme in Davos, when speaking in the panel discussion.

“I said my view of Europe, that the project was mainly started to have peace in Europe,” Babis said.

The European Commission should not be politicised and sometimes it loses contact with the public, Babis said.

“I also stressed the role of membership countries. The decisions should be unanimous,” he added.

Babis said he wanted to return to Davos in a year, if he is still the prime minister.

On Wednesday, President Milos Zeman empowered him to form another government after his first try failed earlier in January.

“I would spend a number of days with negotiations,” Babis said.

In Davos, Babis met the prime ministers of Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel, of Portugal, Antonio Costa, and of Estonia, Juri Ratas.

They mainly spoke about the reform of EU asylum policy, migrant quotas and cohesion funds.

“After Brexit, it is naturally expected that there will be less money in the budget,” Babis said.

During the talks with Costa, Babis promised to pay an official visit to Lisbon.

Babis also met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with whom he wanted to discuss the contract between the Czech Defence Ministry and Israel about the acquisition of the Israeli MADR radar systems for 3.5 billion crowns.

“It is necessary for them to be compatible with NATO,” Babis said before the meeting.

The Czech Republic has special relations with Israel, Babis said, adding that he considered security and cyber security vital shared topics.

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