United Nations envoy: Italy’s rejection of migrant ship ‘shameful

United Nations envoy: Italy’s rejection of migrant ship ‘shameful

Macron said Rome had acted with "cynicism and irresponsibility" by closing its ports to a migrant ship earlier this week, setting off a bitter diplomatic spat between the two countries, with Italy's new Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte considering putting off a meeting with Macron due on Friday. It is expected to arrive there late on Saturday.

But Italy's foreign minister, Enzo Moavero, kept up the barrage by telling a French envoy that Macron's comments were "unjustifiable" and had compromised relations between the two countries.

Visiting western France, Macron initially did not respond to questions on the issue, but later told reporters: "We must never give in to emotions, which some people manipulate".

"We have nothing to learn about generosity, voluntarism, welcoming, and solidarity from anyone", Italy's interior minister, Matteo Salvini, told the Senate.

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday said that one should not get emotional over the situation with the rescue boat.

"Emmanuel Macron and Giuseppe Conte held a telephone conversation yesterday in the evening".

On Wednesday, an Italian government source told Reuters that Mr Conte is "tending towards pushing back the trip to Paris".

Their talks are meant to focus on the contentious issue of migration.

The French ambassador has been summoned to the Italian Foreign Ministry to explain his government's criticism of Italy's handling of the Aquarius migrant boat affair.

The Aquarius has no showers or sinks for migrants on the ship, and the rescue workers rely on disinfectant spray to use for people's hands before their meals.

Kurz said Europe needed an "axis of the willing in the fight against illegal migration". If they want, we will help them.

More news: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to visit Australia, Fiji

"I fear a major tragedy if states start refusing to accept rescued migrants", its director general William Lacy Swing said.

The Diciotti ship arrived at the port of Catania and the migrants began to disembark, an AFP photographer saw.

The UN refugee chief said on Wednesday Italy alone could not be blamed for a stand-off that has left hundreds of migrants stranded for days in the Mediterranean and Europe should do more to share the burden.

Under the EU's asylum laws - now the subject of revision amid a major political dispute - migrants must apply for asylum in the country where they first enter Europe.

France, she said, had also taken the second-biggest share of migrants relocated from Greece and Italy.

He demanded that France move from "words to action and offer a sign of generosity" by taking more in.

He has accused charities of working with human traffickers but said Italy would not stop rescuing migrant boats itself.

An Italian coast guard ship carrying more than 900 Libyan migrants docked in Sicily Wednesday, just barely after the Rome government rejected entry to a boatload of others.

Italy and Malta's rejection of the ship's passengers at the borders of their territorial waters, knowing some of those on board likely need worldwide protection, denied those passengers the opportunity to exercise their right under European Union, refugee, and human rights law to seek asylum.

The number of migrants arriving in Italy began plummeting previous year after the Italian government under the centre-left Democratic Party negotiated controversial deals with Libya that beefed up its capacity to better patrol its coasts and discouraged land-based smugglers.

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