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Central/Eastern Europe: Fight Against Illegal Immigration Lauded

Prague, 14 October 1997 (RFE/RL) - Central and East European countries were praised today for taking measures in the last few years to tighten up on illegal immigration from their countries to Western Europe and North America.

Canadian and West European governtment officials offered the congratulations at a meeting of immigration ministers in Prague discussing ways to pevent illegal immigration.

A Norwegian official said Central and East European countries had made important changes in legislation and procedures to prevent their territories from being used as a transit for illegal immigration and to keep their own citizens from leaving for the West illegally.

Hungarian President Arpad Goncz, who made a surprise visit to the conference while meeting Czech President Vaclav Havel, urged participants to keep in mind the humanitarian needs of genuine refugees while trying to protect their borders against illegal immigration.