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Danish PM asks Turkish counterpart to postpone visit

Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen. Credit: PA

Denmark's prime minister has asked the Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim to postponed a planned visit to the country due to "tensions" between Ankara and the Netherlands.

Mr Yildirim is reported to have a visit to Denmark planned for Monday, March 20.

However, Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen has said that such a visit cannot take place in light of "the current Turkish attack on Holland".

"Under normal circumstances, it would be a pleasure to welcome the Turkish Prime Minister", Mr Rasmussen said.

He continued that the Danish Government was "very concerned" about political developments in Turkey.

The diplomatic row between Turkey and the Netherlands began when Rotterdam authorities cancelled a Turkish rally in the city, and then the Dutch Government refused to let the country's foreign minister's plane land.

In response Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has decried the Dutch as "Nazi remnants", while Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has threatened "harsh" retaliation.

It is not known when the visit will be rescheduled for.

Four suspected Islamic State members arrested in Denmark

Police said weapons were found in searches following the arrests Credit: Reuters

Four suspected Islamic State (IS) members have been arrested in Denmark, police have announced.

Ammunition and weapons were found in a connected search after the arrests near the capital Copenhagen, the police later tweeted.

It said those held were suspected of plotting to commit violence after recruitment by the Syrian branch of the terrorist group.

"The arrests took place as part of efforts to combat people enlisting in terrorist groups in the war-torn areas in Syria and northern Iraq," the police said in a statement on Thursday.

They declined to confirm the identities of the four suspects, who will appear before a judge on Friday, or the details of the allegations against them.


Denmark to seize migrants' valuables under controversial new law

The new measures are aimed at deterring refugees from seeking asylum in Denmark. Credit: Johan Nilsson / TT / TT News Agency/PA Images

Denmark has approved controversial new immigration laws by an overwhelming majority.

The new legislation includes confiscating migrants valuables to pay for their stay and delaying families being allowed to join each other in the country for three years.

Under the bill, refugees entering Denmark will have to hand over any possessions worth more than 10,000 kroner (£1,000). Valuables of special emotional value such as wedding rings will be exempt.

Denmark's Minister of Immigration and Integration, Inger Stojberg, listens to the parliamentary debate. Credit: Reuters/Mathias Loevgreen Bojesen/Scanpix

Before the law was passed it was heavily criticised by human rights organisations including the UN Refugee Agency (UNCHR).

UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards told a news conference: "The decision to give Danish police the authority to search and confiscate valuables from asylum seekers sends damaging messages in our view, it runs the risk of fuelling sentiments of fear and discrimination rather than promoting solidarity with people in need of protection.

"On the limited access to family reunification, we just remind people of the point that family unity is a fundamental principle in international law," Mr Edwards said.

Sweden introduces ID checks for travellers from Denmark

Sweden has introduced ID checks for people travelling from Denmark in a bid to curbing the number of migrants entering the country.

A temporary fence erected between domestic and international tracks at Hyllie train station in southern Malmo. Credit: Johan Nilsson/ TT News Agency/PA Image

Anyone wanting to cross between the two countries by train, bus or ferry will be refused entry without the necessary documents.

Travellers have been able to cross borders between the two Nordic countries without passports since the late 1950s but starting today all Sweden-bound trains will be stopped for mandatory border controls.

The new border checks were instigated by Sweden to try to slow an influx of migrants that is expected to reach 190,000 this year.

The country says its asylum system cannot cope and that other European Union states must take in more refugees.

In Denmark, train operator DSB said it will start emptying all trains at Copenhagen Airport, the last stop before the Oresund Bridge to Sweden.

Passengers will have to enter the terminal and show identification before re-boarding the train.

It has set up 34 staffed slots at the airport station to check papers. DSB said the checks will extend travel time by up to 45 minutes - longer than the 34-minute train journey between Sweden and Denmark.

Around 16,000 people make the trip every day.

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