Chancellor Merkel says no agreement with Czech Republic on returning refugees

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has confirmed that no agreement was reached with the Czech Republic and Hungary on negotiating a deal that the two countries would take back asylum seekers from Germany. Merkel said she regretted the confusion that had arisen regarding possible future negotiations on the issue.

Both the Czech Republic and Hungary heatedly denied media reports that they were open to talks on such an agreement. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said Chancellor Merkel had not brought up the subject and he would, in any case, never consent to an agreement that would mean accepting any number of illegal refugees.

Under the EU’s Dublin convention asylum seekers must lodge their requests in the first EU country they set foot in.