Egypt says NO to European immigration centers within its boarders


In a statement to AFP, Ahmed Abu Zeid spokesperson of the Egyptian ministry of foreign affairs said on Friday: “The Egyptian position in relation to immigrants and refugees is clear to all.  The Egyptian laws are consistent with the international ones and with international agreements in this regard.”  He added: “This position is based on refusing the establishment of any refugee or immigrant camps nor isolating them in anyways shape or form.”   He emphasized that his country’s policy is to integrate immigrants  and facilitate them with residents rights, El-Youm7.   This announcement came only one day after Chancellor Angela Merkel unveiled immigration plan to political allies in Germany.  According to DW German newspaper Merkel has secured the consent of 16 European Union member states for the rapid return of migrants who first arrived in other countries, according to a document seen by German news outlets on Saturday. The countries listed are Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden.  The document also calls for large “anchor centers” to be set up at Germany’s border to process migrants. According to German news agency DPA, another facet of her plan is to send German police to Bulgaria to assist in patrolling the EU’s outer border. A deal has reportedly already been reached with Sofia.  “We must also be prepared to help support Slovenia and Croatia with border control if necessary,” she said.  The chancellor also intends to reinforce Frontex, the EU border security forces, active on Greece’s borders with Macedonia and Albania, before the end of August.  Furthermore, the letter to collation allies included seeking the establishment of immigrant reception centers in North African countries that would serve as third party asylum application processing centers before going to Europe.  Egypt and four other countries (Albania, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria) have said they will refuse to host migrants aiming for the European Union.  “EU reception facilities for migrants in Egypt would violate the laws and constitution of our country,” Egyptian Speaker of the House of Representatives Ali Abdel Aal, to Germany’s Welt am Sonntag newspaper  DW.

On June 29th the Washington Post published an article titled “Europe wants to outsource asylum processing. Critics say it’s abdicating its responsibilities.”  In the article Chico Harlan and Sudarsan Raghavan said critics, including some politicians and analysts, say that Europe risks abdicating its responsibility at a time when migrant flows are drastically reduced from their 2015 peak, and that it would be inviting additional challenges with facilities hosted by poorer and less-stable countries, where people — including minors — could languish in unsafe conditions.  They quoted  Jill Goldenziel, an associate professor at the Marine Corps University, who is writing a book on the global migration crisis. “Europe would be required to maintain its own standards. It is incredibly hard to guarantee that, and particularly hard in a place like Libya or other developing countries that don’t adhere to the same human rights standards.”  They lead with that to mention that U.S. and Mexican officials have been discussing, in recent weeks, a “safe third country” agreement, which could require Central American migrants crossing through Mexico to apply for settlement there and allow the United States to send back asylum seekers who do not do so. The United States and Canada have a similar agreement in place.

They added that such an agreement if reached with the Mexican government would benefit the Trump administration by shrinking the number of Central American asylum seekers applying to live in the United States, but it remains unclear whether Mexican officials will embrace such a plan or whether they intend to use it as leverage in the ongoing trade talks with Washington.


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