Serbia "continues fight against illegal migration"

Ivica Dačić has said that the government will continue implementing measures with a view to uncovering and foiling illegal migrations more efficiently.

Source: Tanjug
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Addressing participants of the Ministerial Conference of the Salzburg Forum (SF) on illegal migrations that is being held in Bucharest, Dačić said that Serbia has seen a steep increase in the number of illegal migrants since 2009.

The prime minister and interior minister specified that these are mostly citizens of African and Asian countries for whom the Western Balkans is just a transit area on their way to the EU.

The territory of Serbia is one of the transit routes that citizens of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Algeria and Somalia are using so as to reach some of developed countries in Europe in an unlawful way, he said.

During the first nine months of 2013, the Serbian authorities foiled 7,228 attempts at crossing the state border illegally, which reflects a fall of 31 percent in comparison to the same period of 2012 when the number stood at 8,792, Dačić noted, adding that the greatest number of attempts took place in the control area (green line) at the border with Macedonia.

The authorities frustrated 13,897 attempts on the green line in 2012; and 10,383 in 2011, the Serbian prime minister said.

The greatest number of people who were caught at the border while trying to cross it unlawfully came from Pakistan, they account for 25 percent in the total number, citizens of Afghanistan - 17 percent and citizens of Syria- 12 percent, Dačić said, adding that a rise in the number of human smuggling cases was also noted.

Dačić pointed to the importance of international cooperation, including the countries that are destinations for illegal migrants.

The issue of illegal migrations, human smuggling cannot be separated from the issue of human trafficking, he stressed.

Dačić said that the prevention of human trafficking is one of the main tasks of the Serbian Ministry of the Interior.

The two-day ministerial conference of the member states of the Salzburg Forum began in Romania on Thursday.

The conference is also bringing together the Group of Friends of the Salzburg Forum from the Western Balkans: Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Moldova as a guest country.

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