Austria, Hungary, Serbia hold top-level meeting on migration

Nov 16, 2022, 10:35 AM | Updated: 10:55 am
Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban, right, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, center, and Austr...

Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban, right, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, center, and Austria's Chancellor Karl Nehammer sign memorandum of understanding of the three countries to strengthen trilateral cooperation in the field of effective fight against illegal migration after their trilateral meeting in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

(AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Austria, Hungary and Serbia on Wednesday held another top-level meeting dedicated to curbing migration, including by sending more than 100 police officers, vehicles equipped with night vision cameras and drones to the border with North Macedonia.

Austria and Hungary also pledged to help Serbia organize deportations by plane of people who come to the Balkan nation from so-called safe countries of origin and aren’t eligible for asylum in the member states of the European Union or in Serbia, officials said.

“We have come to the point where individual EU countries are looking for new forms of partnership outside what is possible in the EU,” Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer said. “The EU’s asylum system has failed.”

Officials from Austria, Hungary and Serbia already held a similar meeting weeks ago and lower-level talks have been held in the meantime. The initiative came after countries reported a significant increase in the numbers of migrants moving along the so-called Balkan route.

Migrants come into Serbia from North Macedonia and Bulgaria after arriving there from Turkey and Greece. From Serbia, people who are trying to reach Western Europe proceed toward the neighboring EU member nations Hungary, Romania or Croatia and on further west from there.

Experts have said that the so-called Balkan land route of migration gets more active in bad weather when the already perilous crossings over the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas become even more dangerous. Most migrants come from Afghanistan and Syria, but there are also people fleeing poverty and violence in Africa or Asia.

Serbia has been under pressure also to revoke its relaxed visa system with countries in Asia and Africa that have become a source of migration. President Aleksandar Vucic said that after abolishing visa-free rules with Tunisia and Burundi, Belgrade will change regulations with two more countries by the end of the year.

“We agreed to … engage a higher number of policemen on the border with North Macedonia and substantial equipment, including cars with thermal vision cameras in order to try to move the defense line toward the south,” Vucic said. “We are ready to move further south together with North Macedonia and thus protect both Europe and our own country.”

Nehammer said Austria could have more than 100,000 asylum requests by the end of the year, compared to around 40,000 people who applied for asylum in 2021. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said his country has recorded some 250,000 attempts at illegal border crossings this year.

“We do not need to manage migration. We need to stop it,” said Orban, who is known for his staunchly anti-immigration policies. In 2015-2016, Hungary built a razor wire fence on the border with Serbia to stop people from entering. “We need to show them (migrants) that they cannot cross.”

Migrants often spend months on the road, sleeping rough and facing abuse at the hands of people smugglers. Usually, migrants make dozens of attempts to cross borders with police pushing them back, before they manage to move on.

___

Follow all AP stories on migration at https://apnews.com/hub/migration

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


              Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban listens to a question during a press conference with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Austria's Chancellor Karl Nehammer after their trilateral meeting in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
            
              Austria's Chancellor Karl Nehammer listens to a question during a press conference with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban after their trilateral meeting in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
            
              Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban, right, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, center, and Austria's Chancellor Karl Nehammer wait as protocol people prepare the scene for a press conference after their trilateral meeting in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
            
              Austria's Chancellor Karl Nehammer speaks during a press conference with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban after their trilateral meeting in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
            
              Austria's Chancellor Karl Nehammer speaks during a press conference with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban after their trilateral meeting in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
            
              Austria's Chancellor Karl Nehammer listens to a question during a press conference with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban after their trilateral meeting in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
            
              Austria's Chancellor Karl Nehammer speaks during a press conference with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban after their trilateral meeting in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
            
              Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban listens to a question during a press conference with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Austria's Chancellor Karl Nehammer after their trilateral meeting in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
            
              Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban, right, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, center, and Austria's Chancellor Karl Nehammer shake hands after a press conference after their trilateral meeting in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
            
              Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban, right, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, center, and Austria's Chancellor Karl Nehammer sign memorandum of understanding of the three countries to strengthen trilateral cooperation in the field of effective fight against illegal migration after their trilateral meeting in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

AP

Dissident Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei poses for a photo in the garden of his country hous...
Associated Press

Dissident artist Weiwei says China unrest won’t alter regime

MONTEMOR-O-NOVO, Portugal (AP) — Dissident Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei is taking heart from recent public protests in China over the authorities’ strict COVID-19 policy, but he doesn’t see them bringing about any significant political change. “I don’t think that’s possible,” he told The Associated Press in an interview at his home in Portugal. […]
4 hours ago
Tesla electric vehicles are displayed during a public launching event Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022, in B...
Associated Press

Tesla launches in Thailand, vying to compete with China EVs

BANGKOK (AP) — Tesla has launched sales in Thailand, offering its popular Model 3 and Model Y at prices aimed at competing with rivals like China’s BYD. The company staged a glitzy showcase of its plans Wednesday at Bangkok’s Siam Paragon mall. Online purchases have begun, with plans to deliver vehicles to buyers in the […]
4 hours ago
The mother and father of a four-month-old baby that urgently needs a heart operation leave the High...
Associated Press

New Zealand court rules against anti-vax parents of ill baby

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A New Zealand court temporarily took away medical custody of a baby from his parents on Wednesday after they refused blood transfusions for him unless the blood came from donors who were unvaccinated against COVID-19. The court’s ruling in favor of health authorities places the 4-month-old boy into the guardianship […]
4 hours ago
Morocco's head coach Walid Regragui is thrown in the air at the end of the World Cup round of 16 so...
Associated Press

The next World Cup will jump to 48 teams. Is bigger better?

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — The next World Cup will be the biggest ever after world soccer body FIFA took the leap from a 32-team field to 48 teams in 2026. It means more of soccer’s so-called “little teams” that didn’t make it to Qatar will be given a chance of a lifetime when the tournament […]
4 hours ago
Passengers and railway staff are seen at the scene of a train collision in Montcada i Reixac, Spain...
Associated Press

Train collision in Spain hurts 155, no serious injuries

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Two passenger trains taking commuters to the city of Barcelona collided early Wednesday, injuring more than 150 people, Spanish officials said. Officials reported no serious injuries. Emergency services said a total of 155 people were attended to by medics on site, with 14 later taken to medical centers for further treatment. […]
4 hours ago
Associated Press

Asia stocks lower as China scales back many COVID curbs

Shares fell in Asia on Wednesday with Hong Kong’s benchmark down more than 2% even as Beijing announced it was drastically scaling back its “zero-COVID” policies, shifting away from trying to isolate every single case. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong fell 2.5% to 18,949.24 and the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.4% at […]
4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Austria, Hungary, Serbia hold top-level meeting on migration