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Minister: Poland Will Veto Forced Relocation of Migrants

FILE - Protesters shout anti-migrant slogans as several thousand right-wing nationalists rally, demonstrating against EU proposed quotas for Poland to spread the human tide of refugees around Europe, in Warsaw, Poland, Sept. 12, 2015.

Poland will veto any plan by the European Union that would oblige member states to accept set numbers of migrants, the nation's interior minister said Tuesday.

Last year, Poland and other countries in the region opposed a plan to redistribute over 120,000 migrants from Africa and the Middle East among the EU members. Warsaw agreed to accept no more than 7,000 asylum-seekers, but not economic migrants, by the end of 2017.

Mariusz Blaszczak said that Poland would veto any new relocation plan that would impose quota of migrants to be accepted, saying such a plan would encourage more arrivals.

Poland says that the migrants should be helped outside Europe, at refugee camps close to their home countries.

Some 53 percent of Poles are against accepting any migrants, while 41 percent are for offering them temporary shelter only, according to a poll released Tuesday by the CBOS survey center. Only 4 percent of respondents said Poland should allow migrants to settle permanently. The poll conducted January 7-14 on 1,063 adults has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

Blaszczak also said that Poland will “most probably” introduce temporary border controls in July when it will host a NATO summit and a world youth meeting with Pope Francis.