November 25, 2018 / 12:56 PM / 16 days ago

Slovakia will not support U.N. migration pact: prime minister

FILE PHOTO: Slovakia Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini speaks during a news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron at Bratislava Castle in Bratislava, Slovakia October 26, 2018. REUTERS/Radovan Stoklasa/File Photo

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Slovakia will not support the United Nations pact on the treatment of migrants worldwide, Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini said on Sunday after the European Union summit.

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration was approved in July by all 193 member U.N. nations except the United States, which backed out last year, and is due to be ratified formally in December.

The pact was conceived after the biggest influx of migrants into Europe since World War Two, many fleeing conflicts and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and beyond.

“Slovakia will not support this United Nations pact under any circumstances and will not agree with it,” Pellegrini told reporters in Brussels after the summit where EU leaders approved the agreement on Britain’s withdrawal from the bloc.

A Slovakia rejection of the migration pact could lead to a shake-up of Pellegrini’s government, given that Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak has threatened to resign if the government shuns the agreement.

Lajcak was President of the United Nations General Assembly when the migration pact was adopted.

Pellegrini said that he believed Lajcak would stay even when the pact is rejected by Slovakia.

“I will do everything I can to keep him in his seat,” the prime minister said.

Reporting by Robert Muller; Editing by David Goodman

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