Austria defends excluding Greece from migrant conference

24 February 2016
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Austria’s foreign minister is defending his country’s decision not to invite Greece to a conference of West Balkan nations focused on managing the migrant crisis.

Sebastian Kurz says that Greece has “clearly expressed no interest in reducing the (migrant) influx and in contrast wants to continue waving them through” to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, from where they make their way northward. Austria has imposed limits on the number of refugees allowed to enter.

The statement by Kurz comes ahead of a meeting Wednesday of Austrian and West Balkan government ministers in Vienna aiming at finding common solutions to crimping the refugee flow.

Greece is not invited. Austria’s Interior Ministry says the conference is set up in a “regular format” that does not include Athens.

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