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

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

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

The move comes hours after Italy summoned the French ambassador to the foreign ministry in Rome.

It would also represent a complete reversal of the open-doors migrant policy she adopted in 2015, which saw more than 1 million migrants enter Germany and is seen as having fuelled a sharp rise in support for the rightwing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party and caused deep rifts within her conservative bloc.

"It's very clear that Europe needs to reform its asylum system in a collective manner; there's a lot of resistance to that but there's no other way", Grandi said.

Italy postponed high-level talks with France Wednesday after Paris blasted Rome for its "nauseating" refusal to take in a migrant rescue ship, in a major diplomatic spat.

Salvini, the leader of the far-right, anti-immigration League party, blocked the Aquarius from entering Italian ports this weekend, prompting an global outcry.

Ms Merkel spoke after Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, a top CSU leader, called for Germany to ally itself with Austria, governed by a right-wing coalition, and Italy on migration and security policies.

"Such statements are undermining relations between Italy and France", Italy's foreign ministry said in a statement Wednesday.

"We believe an axis of the willing is needed to fight illegal migration".

The International Organisation for Migration on Tuesday warned against the closing of borders in the bloc.

Macron said Rome had acted "with cynicism and irresponibility" by turning away the migrant ship Aquarius.

Salvini has repeatedly accused fellow European Union members of abandoning Italy as it struggles to cope with an influx of migrants making the perilous journey across the Mediterranean. He also said that in the five months to the end of May this year France had sent back to Italy 10,249 migrants who had crossed their common border.

The country has seen more than 700,000 migrants arrive on its shores since 2013.

"So I ask President Macron to pass from words to action and tomorrow morning welcome the 9,000 France promised to welcome as a sign of concrete generosity and not just words", Salvini said to applause in the Senate chamber.

Macron's office said Tuesday that France doesn't want to "start a precedent" that would allow some European countries to breach global laws and rely on other EU member states to take in migrants.

Salvini has accused European aid groups of essentially operating taxi services for Libya-based human traffickers, and has said Italy will now refuse them entry.

"We have put a stop to the NGOs". Italian maritime vessels, however, are still docking in its ports: on Wednesday, an Italian coast guard vessel docked in Catania, Sicily with 932 migrants aboard.