The Latest: Slovak minister quits over UN migration pact
LONDON (AP) — The Latest on migration in Europe (all times local):
Slovakia’s foreign minister has resigned from his post over his disagreement with his country’s negative stance on a United Nations pact seeking to promote an international approach to safe and orderly migration.
Miroslav Lajcak announced his decision after the country’s lawmakers rejected the U.N. pact Thursday in a 90-15 vote, saying it’s not in line with the country’s policies on migration and security.
Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini welcomed Parliament’s move. His coalition government is expected next week to opt out of the deal, which Lajcak has supported.
Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel, Poland, Switzerland and Australia have dropped their support for the deal and said they won’t attend the meeting in Marrakech, Morocco on Dec. 10-11 to formally approve the compact.
Spain says Libya has invited a Spanish fishing vessel stranded for days after it rescued 12 migrants in the Mediterranean to go to a Libyan port for supplies.
But a Spanish government statement Thursday indicated that Libya does not meet the requirements of a safe haven. It said Madrid is asking Italy and Malta to accept the vessel and the migrants.
Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo says the government is concerned about the lack of fuel and food onboard the Nuestra Senora de Loreto trawler, which has been stranded in waters north of Libya since last Thursday as it awaits a decision on where the migrants could land. Weather in the area is worsening.
Calvo’s statement says the Libyan coast guard is offering to re-supply the vessel at the Libyan coastal town of Al Khums. It does not say whether it would allow the 12 migrants to disembark.
Spain’s foreign minister said earlier this week that Italy and Malta had rejected the migrants because their rescue took place in waters under Libya’s jurisdiction.
EU lawmakers say convenient travel without ID checks inside Europe’s passport-free Schengen area could be a thing of the past if countries keep prolonging controls on European citizens.
Slovenian lawmaker Tanja Fajon — supervising border-check reform — said Thursday that the 26-nation Schengen area is “at serious risk due to ongoing illegal controls,” saying the EU must “establish clear rules.”
Austria, Denmark, Germany, Sweden and non-EU country Norway reintroduced border controls on all travelers after well over 1 million migrants entered Europe in 2015 seeking sanctuary or jobs.
France resumed ID checks at its borders over security concerns after the Paris attacks in November 2015.
The measures are meant to be temporary and last a maximum of two years under the Schengen rulebook, but lawmakers say the six countries have bent the rules for more than three years.
Slovakia could soon join the list of countries opting out of a United Nations pact seeking to promote an international approach to safe and orderly migration.
The country’s lawmakers rejected the U.N. pact Thursday in a 90-15 vote, saying it’s not in line with the country’s policies on migration and security.
Parliament has asked the government to reject the deal, as well, when it likely makes its decision on the document next week.
Slovak leaders are divided over the pact. Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini indicated that his coalition government will not adopt it but Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak supports it.
Austria, Hungary, Israel, Poland, Switzerland and Australia have dropped their support for the deal and said they won’t attend the meeting in Marrakech, Morocco on Dec. 10-11 to formally approve the compact.
A teenage Syrian refugee who was the victim of a lunchtime bullying incident widely shared on social media says he no longer feels safe at his U.K. school.
The video shows another student pushing the 15-year-old to the ground and threatening to drown him as he pours water into the victim’s mouth. The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told Britain’s ITV late Wednesday that ever since the Oct. 25 incident he wakes up crying in the middle of the night.
The refugee, whose family fled the Syrian city of Homs, says “I don’t feel safe at school. Sometimes I say to my dad, ‘I don’t want to go to school anymore.’”
His comments come as fresh footage of his sister also being bullied circulates on social media.