Interior ministers of the five largest European Union countries have agreed to share the costs of organizing charter flights to send home illegal immigrants and help deal with human smuggling.
French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy announced the accord after talks in the town of Evian with his counterparts from Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain. He said the five countries will charter aircraft which will stop in each of those countries to pick up illegal immigrants of the same nationality and return them to their countries of origin. He said the first flights will begin in a matter of days.
Mr. Sarkozy said the ministers also agreed on measures to deal with identity theft and the increasing trade in fake passports and identity documents.
Illegal immigration, mostly from Africa and Asia, is a matter of growing concern for EU countries.
Some information for this report provided by Reuters, AP and AFP.