Slovenia, Italy to jointly patrol common border for migrants

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia (AP) — Slovenia and Italy said Friday they will soon start joint police patrols along their common border, which lies on a route used by migrants trying to reach Western Europe.

The patrols were announced after a meeting in Slovenia between Interior Minister Aleš Hojs and his Italian counterpart Luciana Lamorgese, Slovenia’s STA news agency said.

It was not immediately clear where the patrols will be deployed or how many officers will take part. Hojs said they could start within a month.

Migrants enter Slovenia from Croatia and then move on toward Italy or Austria and other European Union countries. Thousands of people fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East, Africa or Asia remain stuck in the Balkans while waiting for a chance to reach their destinations.

Hojs said future joint patrols will be equipped with modern technology and use drones, the STA report said. The idea is to discover the most active people smugglers and prevent illegal border crossings in trucks and other vehicles, Hojs said.

Migration toward wealthy EU nations normally picks up pace in the summer, when weather conditions are more clement.

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Follow AP’s global migration coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/migration

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