French Prime Minister Manuel Valls says the European Union must place limits on the number of refugees from the Middle East allowed into the 28-member bloc.
"We cannot take in even more refugees into Europe -- this is not possible," Valls told representatives of a dozen European newspapers, including Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung, which published his remarks on its website on November 24.
"Controlling the European Union's external borders is essential to the future of the EU. If we don't do that, people will say: 'Enough, Europe!'" Valls added in comments confirmed by his entourage.
The French official’s comments come in the wake of the devastating November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 130 people and wounded hundreds of others.
Valls has previously said that some of the Paris attackers had taken advantage of Europe's largest migrant crisis since World War II to "slip in" unnoticed.
Prior to the attacks, which the extremist Islamic State (IS) group has claimed credit for, Valls had lobbied for an EU-wide strategy for dealing with migration and refugees.
He said the bloc must protect itself by ensuring that the millions of people who have fled Syria are handled in countries neighboring the war-torn country rather than traveling to EU member countries.
"Otherwise, Europe's ability to effectively control its borders is called into question," he was quoted by Sueddeutsche Zeitung as telling European media outlets.
Based on reporting by sueddeutsche.de, AFP, and dpa