Germany will fully support a European migrant pact - foreign minister to paper

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FILE PHOTO: Statement of German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas before NATO meeting

MILAN (Reuters) - Germany will fully support a European pact on migrants, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told Italian daily la Repubblica in an interview published on Monday, adding that progress on the distribution of the burden was finally needed.

"We should find a key for the redistribution of refugees," Maas told the paper, adding that those countries that do not want to participate should contribute in other ways, for example by providing financial means to protect the external borders of the EU. "We must finally make progress in the distribution of the burden."

Maas also said there were talks ongoing to find by August a solution on the Nordstream 2 pipeline, which will allow Russia to bypass Ukraine in transporting gas to Europe. He added alternatives to the Silk Road were needed to curb China's influence in the world.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi is due to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel later on Monday.

(Reporting by Agnieszka Flak, editing by Sabina Suzzi)

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