Wednesday May 23, 2018
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EU divided over handling of migrants, refugee crisis deepens

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By NewsGram Staff-Writer

Roszke, Hungary: As the number of migrants entering Hungary through the Balkans saw a record increase, Austria suspended the cross-border train services on Thursday.

Photo Credit: www.cnbc.com
Photo Credit: www.cnbc.com

Germany which has already accepted around 450,000 migrants this year, has warned that the EU’s efforts to distribute 160,000 new arrivals among the member states is only “a drop in the ocean”, according to a report in the Times of India.

Germany has urged the 28-nation group to go further. German Deputy Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said: “The distribution of 160,000 refugees across Europe is a first step if one wants to be polite.”

Meanwhile, the eastern members of the EU, as well as those in the frontline of the migrant influx, are putting forward stiff opposition to the EU’s migrant-distribution plans. They have refused to accept any binding quota from EU.

In light of the refugee crisis, Romania President Klaus Iohannis has said: “It is inappropriate to talk about mandatory quotas, calculated on an extremely bureaucratic basis, almost like an accountancy exercise I might say, without consulting member states,” as quoted in a TOI report.

The Greek island of Lesbos has registered around 22,500 refugees since Monday evening. In Hungary, 3,321 refugees rushed to the country on Thursday before a strict anti-migrant law comes into effect.

Austria had to suspend its train operations to Hungary due to massive overcrowding. The UN refugee agency has warned that at least 42,000 refugees are likely to enter Hungary next week.

EU interior ministers are scheduled to meet on Monday to discuss the easing out of the mounting pressure on the border members by distributing the refugees across the block.

EU lawmakers have called for an international conference with the United Nations, US, and Arab countries to discuss the issue of migration amid the Syrian refugee crisis.

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Israel Takes Back Its Name From Security Council Election

Israel has never held a Council seat and would have been difficult for Israel to win against those to European nations, but it would have won by default if it was unopposed in the group.

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A tough new warning from Israel to Iran is raising fears of war in the Middle East.
Israel Flag, Pixabay

Israel has withdrawn from the election for a two-year term on the Security Council that pitted it against Germany and Belgium.

Israel’s UN Mission announced the decision shortly before a debate between the three candidates was due to start at the UN on Friday afternoon.

“After consulting with our partners, including our good friends, the State of Israel has decided to postpone its candidacy for a seat on the Security Council,” the mission said.

The non-permanent seats in the Council are distributed regionally and Israel, which is in the Western European and Other Group (WEOG), had planned to contest one of the group’s two seats for the 2019-2020 term.

The failure to run unopposed for the WEOG seat is a diplomatic setback for Israel, which has never had a seat the Council, and, according to the US ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, a broken promise by West European countries.

Israel has withdrawn from the election for a two-year term on the Security Council that pitted it against Germany and Belgium.
UN Security Council Chamber, wikimedia commons

He asserted in a tweet in March that Washington, which had brokered a deal for Israel to run unopposed for one of the WEOG seats, must ensure that the European nations kept their word.

Grenell said that the late Richard Holbrooke, a former assistant secretary of state, had arranged the deal..

Although Middle Eastern nations are in the Asia-Pacific Group, Israel has faced opposition from some members of the group and was taken in by the WEOG.

Israel has never held a Council seat and would have been difficult for Israel to win against those to European nations, but it would have won by default if it was unopposed in the group.

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There is one vacancy for the Asia-Pacific Group for 2019-2020 term and Indonesia and Maldives are contesting it.

They will participate in a candidates’ debate for the region organised by the World Federation of United Nations Associations on May 14.

All the 193 members of the UN will, however, vote for the non-permanent members of the Council, even though the seats are distributed by region.

The elections are scheduled for June 8. (IANS)

 

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