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European Union leaders to hold crisis talks on migration

European Union leaders to hold crisis talks on migration

According to a draft conclusion for Sunday's meeting seen by AFP, they would undertake to speed up the return of asylum seekers from one European Union state to another when the latter country is regarded as responsible for processing their application.

The two leaders also backed setting up reception centres where migrants would be held while their asylum claims are considered.

"So instead of taking, we are willing to give", said Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, the League leader.

"Six-hundred-and-fifty thousand landings in four years, 430,000 applications., 170,000 apparent refugees now housed in hotels, buildings and apartments at a cost exceeding five billion euros".

"If for the arrogant President Macron this is not a problem, we invite him to stop the insults and to demonstrate generosity by opening the many French ports and ceasing to push back women, children and men to Ventimiglia". Mission Lifeline said they aided in that rescue. Sanchez said his government is talking with France and Italy about other boats Italy won't accept. The Maltese email also said the ship "has not manifested any distress".

The EU has been supporting and training the Libyan coastguard to return migrants to the North African country - even if they are not from there - but there have been reports of widespread human rights abuses of migrants when they arrive.

The talks in Berlin, attended by ministers from some 30 countries, are part of a series of meetings preparing for December's global climate summit in Poland.

Rome had briefly weighed boycotting Sunday's mini-summit, but finally agreed to attend after reassurances from German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The move was echoed by nearby Malta and the ship was later welcomed by Spain.

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"We are aware of the challenges you face, both in the realm of security and in civil society development", Merkel said, adding that she wished the government success in implementing "needed reforms".

Italian government accused ship operated by German NGO of acting 'outside internal law'.

Italy has taken in almost 700,000 migrants and asylum-seekers since 2013, although numbers have fallen considerably in recent months due to European Union action in the central Mediterranean and in northern Africa.

Meanwhile, the Danish-flagged Alexander Maersk cargo ship has also taken 113 people onboard and is awaiting a port to undock the migrants after receiving a distress call on Thursday.

In their joint declaration, the leaders cautioned that "if member states started to act unilaterally, this would end up in an overall increase of migration into Europe".

After allowing in more than one million asylum seekers into Germany since 2015, sparking a strong xenophobic backlash, Merkel is now fighting for her political future.

Merkel immediately rejected the threat, saying there would be "no automatism" if no European deal was found, and warned Seehofer and his Bavarian CSU party that she is ultimately in charge of government policy.

Instead, she said, "bilateral, trilateral and multilateral" deals must be reached to tackle the issue.


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