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Italy agrees to continue accepting rescued migrants

Staff Writer | July 24, 2018
Italy agreed to continue accepting migrants rescued at sea, at least until a broader EU strategy to address fair distribution of people can be defined.
Enzo Moavero Milanesi
Europe   Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi
Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi said after talks with his German counterpart Heiko Maas in Berlin that EU partners would seek a solution on migration policy within the next five weeks.

"During this time, we ensure that ships with rescued people can dock in Italy," he told reporters, confirming the "will of our government" to hammer out "common positions with our EU and NATO partners".

But he added that Rome saw it as a priority "to overhaul the operational rules so as to avoid all the rescued people landing in one country".

Maas expressed sympathy for the view in Rome that "they have been left alone" with the problem of arriving migrants, while noting that arrival numbers were currently rising much faster in Spain while falling in Italy.

"At the same time, we expect all EU states to uphold existing agreements. Sea rescues are one of those areas of agreement," Maas said, adding he was pleased to see "a shared desire for solutions".

"If the countries of the Mediterranean are asking for European solidarity then they have an ally in Germany," he said.