French president confirms solidarity with Poland over migration crisis

YOAN VALAT/PAP/EPA

French President Emmanuel Macron assured his Polish counterpart, Andrzej Duda, and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki of his "full solidarity with Poland" in Thursday telephone conversations on a migration crisis on Poland's eastern border with Belarus.

The Elysee Palace said Macron had also confirmed the need for Europe to maintain pressure on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who Warsaw accuses of orchestrating the crisis as a 'hybrid war' tactic aimed at destabilising the EU. Macron said an end should be put to the instrumentalisation of migrants that exposed many people to danger.

The French president also called on Europe to work more closely with migrants' countries of origin and transit as well as with airlines in order to stem the flow of migrants to Belarus and to enable the return of those who do not qualify for asylum.

Macron also highlighted the urgent need to provide humanitarian assistance to people stuck at the border through engagement of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organisation for Migration.

Andrzej Duda assured Macron that Poland would "guard its, and the EU's, border," the head of the president's International Policy Bureau, Jakub Komoch, wrote on Twitter.