Europe ministers meet in Paris on divisive migrant issue

PARIS (AP) — European ministers are meeting in Paris in a new step to find an accord on the divisive issue of how to deal with migrants crossing the Mediterranean but, shut out by Italy and unwanted elsewhere, caught in political standoffs.

Absent at yesterday’s closed-door meeting of interior and foreign ministers was Italy’s populist Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who tweeted a day earlier his disagreement with letting France and Germany determine refugee policy. In another tweet he said that “we intend to make ourselves respected.”

France has stressed the need for European countries to share arriving migrants, often travelling on traffickers’ flimsy boats and rescued by NGOs.

The meeting, called at the initiative of President Emmanuel Macron, precedes talks yesterday between the French leader and UN chiefs for refugees and migration.

Migrants disembark with others from an Italian Guardia di Finanza finance police boat at the Sicilian port of Pozzallo. – AP