Bulgaria applauded for improving conditions of asylum-seekers

GENEVA - The U.N. refugee agency on Tuesday commended "the significant efforts" made by Bulgarian authorities to improve living conditions for asylum-seekers, but warned that "serious gaps in the system still remain."

"Conditions in the centres have improved, particularly in the Harmanli centre, a former military base located 50 kilometres from the Turkish border where asylum-seekers were living in tents just four months ago," UNHCR chief spokesperson Melissa Fleming was quoted as saying in a statement released on the agency's website.

"However, UNHCR notes that serious gaps in the system still remain," Fleming said.

The refugee agency also announced that the suspension of asylum-seeker transfer to Bulgaria was lifted.

The refugee transfers within the EU are made in accordance with the 'Dublin Regulation," a European Union rule that determines which member countries are responsible for examining an asylum application.

Bulgaria is hosting over 5,000 asylum-seekers, about 63 percent of whom are from Syria.

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