Austria to send troops to border amid tightened controls

Vienna, Sep 14 (IANS) The Austrian federal government on Monday announced it will send 2,200 armed forces troops to its borders to help police control the ongoing asylum seeker crisis.

The news was announced by Chancellor Werner Faymann and Vice-Chancellor Reinhold Mitterlehner at a press conference in Vienna, Xinhua reported.

Faymann said the troop deployment was requested by the interior ministry, and will primarily oversee humanitarian aid, but will also help in a border control capacity where the need arises.

He stressed that as with Germany’s tightened restrictions, the borders would not be closed, and that the Schengen Agreement rules would still apply.

Additionally the Dublin Regulation rules must also be adhered to, though he stated they should be replaced by “newer, better rules”.

Mitterlehner said the troop deployment would take place with immediate effect, and would mirror Germany’s announcement Sunday that it would tighten border controls. If they did so, Austria would also have to, he added.

This would send a clear signal to persons concerned that the “disorderly crossing of the border cannot take place any longer”.

He said the aid structures in place for asylum seekers in Austria must also not be overburdened.

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