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EU, Balkan Leaders Discuss Migrants

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker speaks during a press conference on October 8, 2015 at the border town of Passau, Germany.

European Union and Balkan leaders are holding emergency talks about Europe’s refugee crisis on October 25 amid threats from three frontline states to close their borders if northern EU countries stop accepting migrants.

The mini summit in Brussels has been called by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

Those attending include the leaders of eight hard-hit EU member states, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, plus the leaders of the non-EU Balkan countries Serbia and Macedonia.

On October 24, Bulgaria, Romania, and Serbia warned that they would not allow themselves to become a “buffer zone” for the tens of thousands of migrants that are streaming into Europe -- mostly from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said after talks in Sofia with the Romanian and Serbian leaders, that all three would close their borders “at the very same moment” if Germany, Austria, and other countries in western Europe close their borders.

During recent months, Serbia has been swamped with migrants making their way from Greece and Macedonia to northern Europe.

Bulgaria and Romania also have become transit routes for migrants but have been much less affected.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP