‘US interventions a reason for migrant crisis, US should share burden’ – Austrian Chancellor
“There is no doubt that America shares responsibility for the refugee flows by the way how it intervened militarily,” Kern said on Saturday, as cited by AFP.
“It’s unacceptable for the international community if America wants to avoid responsibility. We need to make this clear to our American friends. I’m convinced that there will be a high degree of unanimity [among EU leaders] on this question,” Kern went on to say.
The refugee crisis that has engulfed the world due to these conflicts has been the major point of discussion for the EU summit in Malta. The attendees have not been pleased with the agenda of the current US administration with regard to this issue.
While criticizing interventions launched by former US administrations, the Austrian chancellor also lashed out at the newly elected president’s recent move to ban entry to the United States to residents of seven Muslim states.
“The entry bans against seven Muslim countries are... highly problematic. We should win these countries as allies in the fight against [radical] Islamism, not define them as adversaries,” Kern stated.
Last week, Donald Trump issued an executive order that banned citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the US for 90 days. The roll-out of the executive order caused mass confusion, deportations, protests, and lawsuits.
The attorneys general of 16 states and the District of Columbia issued a joint statement earlier this week calling the executive order “unconstitutional, un-American and unlawful.” As a result, US District Court Judge James Robart issued a nationwide restraining order against enforcing the president’s will, noting, however, its temporary nature.
Trump’s travel ban has not been met well by the international community or the American public.
Just ahead of the Malta meeting, EU President Donald Tusk took an unprecedented step, warning European leaders that Trump’s policies posed a potential “threat” to the bloc, along with China, Russia, and radical Islam. German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated at the summit that “fighting international terrorism is not something that will justify throwing a general suspicion on people of a certain faith or a certain origin.”
French President Francois Hollande also expressed concern over Trump’s recent statements, whether regarding US membership in NATO, Brexit, or criticism of the EU’s migrant policies, noting that “what matters is solidarity at the EU level” because “who knows what the US president really wants, particularly in relation to the Atlantic alliance and burden-sharing?”
The European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said there was nothing to fear with regard to Trump, yet he voiced concern that the new US administration may not be entirely on top of the current world affairs.
European leaders bark much, but never bite – Spanish MEP
Spanish MEP Javier Couso told RT that the EU states are united in their criticism of Trump’s migrant policies, as they contradict European values.
“Trump's comments are quite aggressive... It should be noted that the actions of Trump, responsible for governing a UN member-country, against migrants and refugees are in stark contrast with our culture, our judgments. With regard to this we share the same opinion... We believe that we can not judge one nation, or one religion, can not generalize, because it makes no sense. After all, a lot of the terrorists were from Saudi Arabia, and the measures were not taken against this country, as it is one of the main US allies in the region.”
According to Couso, it is unlikely the EU will adopt any preventive measures against the policies of the US administration as the “US holds great power,” while European leaders “bark but never bite.”
“I think there are two opinions in the EU. On the one hand, there is a part that wants a unified approach to face the challenges associated with the new administration more aggressively. On the other hand, there are leaders, like Mariano Rajoy, who expressed the need to calmly observe the actions of the administration. These claim that it is necessary to defend the unity of Europe, but to do it in a more relaxed manner.
“I do not know where we will come at the end. Whether we will start confrontation or not. After all, enormous power is concentrated in the US, while European leaders bark much, but never bite, so it is difficult to predict the course the future events.”