EU leaders to pledge rescue for migrants, but no fix for problem




 
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April 23rd, 2015  
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Topic: EU leaders to pledge rescue for migrants, but no fix for problem


By Alastair Macdonald and Philip Pullella BRUSSELS/ROME (Reuters) - European Union leaders will reverse a cutback in rescue operations in the Mediterranean on Thursday to try to prevent record numbers of people drowning as they try to flee war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the bloc's pre-eminent leader, said on arrival that Europe's values and credibility in the rest of the world were on the line "and so the issue today is of the greatest importance, in terms of saving human lives". Underlining global attention, the United Nations criticized the European response so far and urged it to do more: "The European Union response needs to go beyond the present minimalist approach ... which focuses primarily on stemming the arrival of migrants and refugees on its shores." British Prime Minister David Cameron, fighting an election against anti-immigration populists, brandished the EU's biggest defense budget in pledging his navy's helicopter-carrying flagship and two other vessels to an operation he previously refused to support for fear of tempting more people out to sea.




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