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Slovak PM wants EU border guards deployed by year-end

'Let's protect the outer borders and forbid the entry of illegal migrants, that's the only way'
Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico, left, and President of the European Council Donald Tusk deliver a joint statement after EU Summit in Bratislava, Slovakia, last week (AFP)

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico on Sunday said he hoped a new border and coast guard force would be deployed on the European Union's outer frontiers by the end of 2016.

"Let's protect the outer borders and forbid the entry of illegal migrants, that's the only way," he said. "We faced criticism for that. But today, that is the EU's official policy."

Fico's statement came two days after European leaders gathered for a post-Brexit summit in the Slovak capital Bratislava.

The leaders agreed to forge a new "vision" within six months to restore faith and unity in the bloc, which has been rocked by problems such as mass migration, security and a faltering economy.

"The summit proved that as far as the migration wave was concerned, EU policy was a failure," Fico said.

"That's what we were saying from the start," he said, referring to Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic - known together as the Visegrad Group.

"The goal is very clear: to put into action European border guards and coast guards by the end of the year, with all that that entails," Fico told Czech television channel CT.

"All the legislative procedures concerning the matter have been carried out," he said, adding that his country would offer its full support to ensure the force was deployed.

European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker called earlier this week for a new EU border and coast guard force to start work quickly with 200 guards and 50 vehicles deployed in Bulgaria by October.

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