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No European country 'can be exempt' from taking in refugees: Hollande

21 september 2015, 16:26

No European country can get out of taking in refugees who have the right to asylum, French President Francois Hollande said Sunday, amid a growing row over how to fairly distribute a massive influx of migrants across the continent, AFP reports.

The re-distribution "must involve all European countries -- no one can be exempt or we would no longer belong to the same union built on values and principles," Hollande said during a visit to Morocco, ahead of Wednesday's EU crisis summit on a contentious proposal to spread 120,000 refugees across member states.

Hollande told a press conference in Tangiers he had instructed his Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve to defend the plan for mandatory quotas at a meeting of his counterparts on Tuesday ahead of Wednesday's full summit of all 28 EU leaders. 

"We will ensure that this mechanism is effective regardless of its terms, that commitments can be kept and that it's not always the same countries who are receiving the refugees," the French leader said.

A number of eastern European countries, notably Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, have rejected the idea of accepting a share of migrants under national quotas that reflect populations and economic strength.

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