German foreign minister calls for better control of EU’s borders
German Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, has on Saturday in Berlin stressed the urgent need for adequate control of all the EU borders.
He said this had become necessary in view of the recent reports that forged Syrian passports are in the hands of Islamic State militants.
“More than a million refugees, many fleeing war and violence in the Middle East, have arrived in Germany this year.
“Since last month’s Paris attacks, concern has grown that Islamist militants may enter undetected among the influx,’’ he said.
On Tuesday, German media quoted Bavaria’s Interior Minister as saying that refugees with fake Syrian passports had disappeared in Germany and there are grounds for suspicion that they may have had contact with Islamic State militants.
Steinmeier warned against lumping refugees in the same category as suspected terrorists and said many militants came from Europe.
He, however, said irrespective of this, it has become more important that EU members had more control again over who is entering and leaving Europe.
Steinmeier added that a suggestion by the European Commission to expand the powers of the EU’s Frontex border agency, and an EU agreement offering incentives to Turkey to help stem the flow of refugees, were important building blocks toward better frontier control.
EU had said arlier this month that it would nearly treble its spending on frontier defense and create a new 1,500-strong rapid reaction force under proposals to tackle the migration crisis. (Reuters/NAN)