The Slovenia Times

Slovenia Could Help Italy Deal with Refugee Crisis Again


"There is a high probability of once again deploying the Triglav battleship," Erjavec told reporters in Ljubljana.

In 2014 Slovenia deployed the Triglav in waters off the Lampedusa island for a month as part of Italy's Mare Nostrum operation.

At the end of last year Mare Nostrum was succeeded by a less ambitious EU operation called Triton.

The immigration pressure on Italy has come into renewed focus in recent weeks, especially this weekend, when 700 refugees perished when a boat capsized.

Erjavec said Slovenia needed to show solidarity.

"This is not Italy's, Malta's and Greece's problem, this is a European problem. We must show solidarity in tackling it," he said.

Prime Minister Miro Cerar likewise said Slovenia needed to show "solidarity with all these unfortunate refugees and the resulting situation in the south of the EU."

Speaking to reporters in parliament, he said Slovenia was willing to accept its share of responsibility.

"I'm convinced we'll make a humanitarian, organisational and other contributions - but in agreement, for the EU must act in a coordinated fashion."

The minister stressed that the issue would be resolved only when the countries from which the majority of refugees come, in particular Syria and Iraq, were stabilised.

He said EU foreign ministers would tackle the issue starting with today's session in Luxembourg. Erjavec has other obligations and will not be in attendance.

According to Erjavec, there might even be an extraordinary EU summit dedicated to the issue, possibly on Thursday.


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