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World: Central European nations back Poland in migration dispute

Poland says Belarus is taking away migrants at border camp

  Poland says Belarus is taking away migrants at border camp WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A Polish government official said Wednesday that migrants who have spent days in a makeshift camp on the Belarusian side of Poland's eastern border are being taken away by bus by Belarusian officials. Since Nov. 8 a large group of people from the Middle East has been stuck at a border crossing with Poland, hoping to enter Europe. Most are fleeing conflict or hopelessness at home and aim to reach Germany or other western European countries. © Provided by Associated Press Migrants settle for the night in the logistics center in the checkpoint "Kuznitsa" at the Belarus-Poland border near Grodno, Belarus, on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021.

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — The leaders of three Central European countries on Tuesday expressed their solidarity with Poland in an ongoing migration crisis on its eastern border with Belarus, and urged the European Union to increase its support for the protection of the bloc's external borders.

From left: Prime Ministers Mateusz Morawiecki of Poland, Viktor Orban of Hungary, Eduard Heger of Slovakia and Andrej Babis of the Czech Republic arrive for a news briefing in Budapest, Hungary, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021. The leaders of the Visegrad Four group of Central European countries met in Hungary's capital of Budapest Tuesday to discuss the ongoing migration crisis along Poland's border with Belarus. (AP Photo/Laszlo Balogh) © Provided by Associated Press From left: Prime Ministers Mateusz Morawiecki of Poland, Viktor Orban of Hungary, Eduard Heger of Slovakia and Andrej Babis of the Czech Republic arrive for a news briefing in Budapest, Hungary, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021. The leaders of the Visegrad Four group of Central European countries met in Hungary's capital of Budapest Tuesday to discuss the ongoing migration crisis along Poland's border with Belarus. (AP Photo/Laszlo Balogh)

At a news briefing in Hungary's capital of Budapest following talks between the prime ministers of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said the situation on his country's eastern border went beyond migration.

EU praises Bosnia for improved migration management

  EU praises Bosnia for improved migration management SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — The European Union praised as a sign of progress the opening of a new migrant facility Friday in Bosnia, which had been criticized over the plight of migrants stranded in the dysfunctional Balkan country during their long trek to richer destinations. The new, organized Lipa camp, in the northwestern Krajina region, can accommodate, screen and register up to 1,500 people, and includes safe zones for unaccompanied minors and vulnerable people.

From left, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, Slovakian Prime Minister Eduard Heger, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis pose during the summit of Visegrad Group (V4) prime ministers at Hungarian PM's office in Budapest, Hungary, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021. (Vivien Cher Benko/Hungarian Prime Minister's Office/MTI via AP) © Provided by Associated Press From left, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, Slovakian Prime Minister Eduard Heger, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis pose during the summit of Visegrad Group (V4) prime ministers at Hungarian PM's office in Budapest, Hungary, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021. (Vivien Cher Benko/Hungarian Prime Minister's Office/MTI via AP)

It’s a “new political crisis” in which people are being used by human smugglers and mafias in cooperation with the authoritarian government of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to exert pressure on the EU, Morawiecki said.

"Human beings are used as objects, as tools, which is horrible. In the hands of the Lukashenko regime, they are merely tools,” Morawiecki said.

Poland: Belarus eyes using Afghan migrants as border pawns

  Poland: Belarus eyes using Afghan migrants as border pawns VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) — Poland’s leader on Sunday warned against more possible migrant pressures on the European Union’s border with Belarus, this time coming from Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki spoke in Vilnius following talks with Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte about ways of solving the “very difficult situation” at the borders of EU members with Belarus. He was on a one-day tour of meetings with the prime ministers of EU members Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, which have also been hit by the migrant pressures.

Tuesday's summit of the Visegrad Four grouping of Central European countries came as thousands of migrants, mostly from countries in the Middle East, have traveled to Belarus in recent months and attempted to cross into the EU through neighboring Poland, a member of the 27-member bloc.

Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki addresses media at a news briefing in Budapest, Hungary, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021. The leaders of the Visegrad Four group of Central European countries met in Hungary's capital of Budapest Tuesday to discuss the ongoing migration crisis along Poland's border with Belarus. (AP Photo/Laszlo Balogh) © Provided by Associated Press Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki addresses media at a news briefing in Budapest, Hungary, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021. The leaders of the Visegrad Four group of Central European countries met in Hungary's capital of Budapest Tuesday to discuss the ongoing migration crisis along Poland's border with Belarus. (AP Photo/Laszlo Balogh)

Poland has reinforced its border with riot police and troops and plans to build a steel barrier, measures supported by many in the EU. It has also used water cannon and tear gas to deter migrants attempting to breach the border, drawing criticism from some human rights groups and others who argue the migrants shouldn't be pushed back into Belarus and should be allowed to submit asylum claims.

Doctor in Poland Goes on Iraq TV, Pleads for Kurds to Avoid Illegal Immigration Path to EU

  Doctor in Poland Goes on Iraq TV, Pleads for Kurds to Avoid Illegal Immigration Path to EU Dr. Arsalan Azzaddin has treated migrants from the Belarus-Poland border suffering from hypothermia, pneumonia, broken bones and severe dehydration. Hoping to stop what has grow into a very deadly migration route now being shut off, he asked a Kurdish TV station to let him go on the news to warn people back in his homeland not to attempt the illegal route into the European Union through Belarus and Poland. Dr. Arsalan Azzaddin, who is originally from Iraq, told the AP he was treating migrants from his homeland and Syria every day.

From left: Prime Ministers Mateusz Morawiecki of Poland, , Eduard Heger of Slovakia, Viktor Orban of Hungary and Andrej Babis of the Czech Republic look at each other after a news briefing in Budapest, Hungary, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021. The leaders of the Visegrad Four group of Central European countries met in Hungary's capital of Budapest Tuesday to discuss the ongoing migration crisis along Poland's border with Belarus. (AP Photo/Laszlo Balogh) © Provided by Associated Press From left: Prime Ministers Mateusz Morawiecki of Poland, , Eduard Heger of Slovakia, Viktor Orban of Hungary and Andrej Babis of the Czech Republic look at each other after a news briefing in Budapest, Hungary, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021. The leaders of the Visegrad Four group of Central European countries met in Hungary's capital of Budapest Tuesday to discuss the ongoing migration crisis along Poland's border with Belarus. (AP Photo/Laszlo Balogh)

The EU has argued that Lukashenko is using the migrants to destabilize the bloc in retaliation for sanctions it imposed on his government. Belarus denies engineering the crisis.

The border pressure has been reduced somewhat in recent days, Morawiecki said, after Poland conducted talks with the prime ministers of Iraq, the autonomous region of Kurdistan, Turkey and others in an effort to reduce migrant arrivals to Belarus.

The result is that “today the flow of new migrants to Belarus is totally different, it is much smaller than it was at the peak some months ago or two and three weeks ago,” Morawiecki said. “This is important, this is the first step toward discharging this crisis that Belarus provoked.”

Iraqi baby buried as death toll in EU-Belarus crisis grows

  Iraqi baby buried as death toll in EU-Belarus crisis grows BOHONIKI, Poland (AP) — A Polish imam recited prayers Tuesday over the tiny white casket of an unborn Iraqi boy, the latest life claimed as migrants from the Middle East have tried to slip into the European Union illegally and found their path blocked by soldiers and a fast approaching winter in the forests of Poland and Belarus. After the first snow of the season fell overnight, Aleksander Ali Bazarewicz, the imam, waited in hopes that the child's father — in a refugee center and with his wife hospitalized in serious condition — would arrive. When he didn't appear, Bazarewicz proceeded to lead the funeral rites in front of an old wooden mosque and later at the graveside.

Morawiecki has held other talks in recent days with EU members like Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which have also been affected by migration from Belarus. His appeals for help found sympathetic ears in Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a staunch opponent of immigration.

At Tuesday’s news briefing, Orban said the EU had “never been under such pressure as it is now,” and criticized the bloc’s response to migrants attempting to enter its external borders.

“Brussels is conducting a mistaken policy,” Orban said, and claimed the bloc “is financing practically everything that increases migratory pressure” but not forwarding money to secure EU borders.

Hungary's Prime Ministers Viktor Orban addresses media at a news briefing in Budapest, Hungary, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021. The leaders of the Visegrad Four group of Central European countries met in Hungary's capital of Budapest Tuesday to discuss the ongoing migration crisis along Poland's border with Belarus. (AP Photo/Laszlo Balogh) © Provided by Associated Press Hungary's Prime Ministers Viktor Orban addresses media at a news briefing in Budapest, Hungary, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021. The leaders of the Visegrad Four group of Central European countries met in Hungary's capital of Budapest Tuesday to discuss the ongoing migration crisis along Poland's border with Belarus. (AP Photo/Laszlo Balogh)

Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger said Tuesday that his country “undertakes full solidarity with the prime minister of Poland,” and offered assistance to help secure the country's border.

From left: Prime Ministers Mateusz Morawiecki of Poland, Viktor Orban of Hungary, Eduard Heger of Slovakia and Andrej Babis of the Czech Republic address the media at a news briefing in Budapest, Hungary, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021. The leaders of the Visegrad Four group of Central European countries met in Hungary's capital of Budapest Tuesday to discuss the ongoing migration crisis along Poland's border with Belarus. (AP Photo/Laszlo Balogh) © Provided by Associated Press From left: Prime Ministers Mateusz Morawiecki of Poland, Viktor Orban of Hungary, Eduard Heger of Slovakia and Andrej Babis of the Czech Republic address the media at a news briefing in Budapest, Hungary, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021. The leaders of the Visegrad Four group of Central European countries met in Hungary's capital of Budapest Tuesday to discuss the ongoing migration crisis along Poland's border with Belarus. (AP Photo/Laszlo Balogh)

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis urged further sanctions against Belarus, and said he had offered to deploy trained personnel to the border zone.

Channel deaths fuel UK-France tensions over migrant boats

  Channel deaths fuel UK-France tensions over migrant boats LONDON (AP) — The deaths of at least 27 people in the English Channel is fueling tensions between the U.K. and France over how to stop migrants from crossing the world’s busiest waterway in small boats. Despite a pledge from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron that they would “do everything possible” to stop people smugglers from endangering lives, politicians on both sides of the channel are already blaming their counterparts for failing to prevent Wednesday's tragedy.

From left: Prime Ministers Mateusz Morawiecki of Poland, Viktor Orban of Hungary, Eduard Heger of Slovakia and Andrej Babis of the Czech Republic address the media at a news briefing in Budapest, Hungary, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021. The leaders of the Visegrad Four group of Central European countries met in Hungary's capital of Budapest Tuesday to discuss the ongoing migration crisis along Poland's border with Belarus. (AP Photo/Laszlo Balogh) © Provided by Associated Press From left: Prime Ministers Mateusz Morawiecki of Poland, Viktor Orban of Hungary, Eduard Heger of Slovakia and Andrej Babis of the Czech Republic address the media at a news briefing in Budapest, Hungary, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021. The leaders of the Visegrad Four group of Central European countries met in Hungary's capital of Budapest Tuesday to discuss the ongoing migration crisis along Poland's border with Belarus. (AP Photo/Laszlo Balogh)

“If Poland asks, we are immediately ready to provide this assistance,” Babis said. ”We cannot accept this exercise of pressure by Belarus and the Lukashenko regime.”

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Monika Scislowska contributed to this report from Warsaw, Poland.

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Follow AP’s coverage of migration issues at https://apnews.com/hub/migration

A Brazilian town empties as migration to U.S. accelerates .
A Brazilian town empties as migration to U.S. acceleratesALPERCATA, Brazil (Reuters) - Amid tearful goodbyes, Ana Paula Souza, her husband and their infant son set off for the United States, one of hundreds of families to depart the small Brazilian town of Alpercata in recent months.

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