Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani on Thursday abruptly canceled a visit to Paris, calling “unacceptable” remarks by the French inside minister criticizing the Italian premier’s migration coverage.
Italy had demanded clarification of the remarks by French minister Gerald Darmanin to RMC radio blaming Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni for growing numbers of migrants, notably minors, on the French-Italian border.
Darmanin advised the broadcaster that Meloni “is incapable of resolving the migration issues for which she was elected.” He additionally accused her of “mendacity to the inhabitants,” a “vice” he stated that was shared by the far-right.
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The comment was each a dig at Meloni and French far-right chief Marine Le Pen, noting that Meloni was elected by Le Pen’s “pals.” The president of Le Pen’s National Rally had visited the border space on Wednesday, seemingly to revive the migration difficulty.
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Darmanin’s feedback got here as Tajani was making ready to fly to Paris to fulfill together with his French counterpart. The Italian international minister stated the “offenses” launched by the minister in opposition to the Italian authorities weren’t in “the spirit during which shared European challenges ought to be confronted.”
The French Foreign Ministry backed off of Darmanin’s remarks, saying that French-Italy ties are “based on mutual respect, between our two nations and between our leaders.” The assertion stated the French authorities desires to work with Italy on the problem of migration, notably within the central Mediterranean, in a spirit of solidarity, in a reference to Tunisia.
Italy and France have sparred over migration police since Meloni took workplace final yr as Italy’s first post-war far-right chief. Her authorities ushered in hard-line insurance policies on migration, together with standoffs with humanitarian rescue ships. Tensions spiked final fall after Italy compelled France’s hand to just accept the Ocean Viking with 234 migrants aboard, after Italy had refused it port for weeks.
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