Belgium will ratify the agreement that the European Union reached with Tunisia on Sunday, State Secretary for Asylum and Migration Nicole de Moor said on Monday.
The agreement concluded between the EU and Tunisia provides that, in exchange for financial support, the Tunisian government will take measures to stop the crossing of migrants. Tunisia needs help because its economy is in dire straits.
"It is absolutely necessary to make agreements with countries around the EU" from where boats carrying refugees leave for Europe, De Moor said on Flemish radio on Monday morning.
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While the minister said that she is personally concerned about the situation in the country, she added that "nobody has an interest in us abandoning Tunisia" and that Europe needs "stable neighbours."
Additionally, De Moor agreed with the plea of the Flemish Council for Refugees – and held by many other civil organisations – for safe and legal routes, but pointed out that the refugees who get on boats are not always prosecuted in the country of origin.