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Merkel Praises Serbia's Handling Of Migrants Taking Balkan Route To EU

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (file photo)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (file photo)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised Serbia for its role in helping deal with Europe's migration crisis as she met with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic in Berlin on March 14.

Merkel applauded Serbia for taking in asylum seekers, and added that Germany "doesn't want to leave Serbia alone."

"Unfortunately it's not as if there is no more illegal migration on the so-called Balkan route," Merkel said.

Vucic, whose country currently hosts about 7,500 refugees, thanked Merkel for Germany's support providing Serbia with equipment and police.

"We want to continue with what we are doing, we want to show our solidarity as well as our humanity," Vucic said.

A year ago, the Balkan migration route -- which runs through Serbia, Macedonia, and Croatia from Greece and Turkey -- was officially closed, although some migrants continue to try to get through.

Some 525 kilometers of fencing has now been installed to stop migrants moving through the area.

In 2015, at the height of the migration crisis, Germany took in a record 890,000 migrants, most arriving via the Balkan route.

Based on reporting by dpa, European Western Balkans, and Radio Televizija Pancevo

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