WARSAW, POLAND (AP, JUNE 19, 2017) — The Latest on Europe migration issues (all times local): 4 p.m. Defense officials of six Central European countries and the Balkans have pledged close cooperation in tackling migration with all possible means including use of armed forces.
The countries — Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia — have created a grouping called the Central European Defense Cooperation and want to be a role model for the entire European Union.
Among the group's goals is that all migrants who want to apply for asylum in EU countries have to do it in centers outside the bloc. Austrian Defense Minister Hans Peter Doskozil said after a meeting in Prague on Monday that his country has been preparing a detailed action plan of cooperation for the six whose military forces will train in a joint drill in next few months.
Poland's prime minister says that heavily-criticized remarks she made last week at Auschwitz weren't about refugees as many people assumed.
Beata Szydlo told the wPolityce website Monday that the comments "in no way referred to the issue of migration" and that "this was not even the context."
Szydlo said last week during a memorial observance at Auschwitz that "in today's restless times, Auschwitz is a great lesson showing that everything must be done to protect the safety and life of one's citizens."
The comments were widely understood as a defense of her conservative government's refusal to accept refugees as part of a European Union resettlement plan.
That position prompted the European Commission to launc