Italy still waiting for apology from France's Macron: deputy PM


Beau said while the rescue ship the association operates, the Aquarius, is travelling the 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) to Spain, new victims "are dying under our eyes".

Italy's rejection of a migrant ship is shameful but the responsibility lies with Europe as a whole, United Nations refugee chief Filippo Grandi told Reuters on Wednesday.

France claims it has received no formal request from Italy for an apology, believing the planned meeting between Macron and Conte would go ahead.

Italy's new populist government came under fire Tuesday from its European Union neighbours after refusing to let a foreign NGO boat carrying 629 mostly African migrants dock in Italy.

While diplomats work to resolve the row, the migrant crisis continues to pressure Italy, which carries out most of the search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean.

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The United Arab Emirates confirmed of its four soldiers had been killed and 22 Houthi rebels reportedly also died. The UN and other aid groups already had pulled their worldwide staff from Hodeida ahead of the rumoured assault.

Italy's economy minister, Giovanni Tria, also cancelled a meeting with his counterpart in Paris, a day after French President Emmanuel Macron said Rome had acted with "cynicism and irresponsibility" by closing its ports to migrants.

"Following yesterday's the statements of Paris over the Aquarius issue, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Enzo Moavero Milanesi summoned the ambassador of France to Italy to the foreign ministry this morning", the Italian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday. Salvini was harshly critical of Malta for refusing to take the migrant ship after Italy closed its ports to it.

The border crossing point at Ventimiglia has been the scene of protests and desperation for years as France refused to let in migrants, many of them seeking to reach family in France or Germany. Kurz said Europe needed an "axis of the willing in the fight against illegal migration".

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.

Salvini also accused France of having turned back 10,249 migrants at Italy's northern border since January, "including women, children and disabled people".

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On the way forward, Pompeo said, "I don't know exactly what the timing will be for our next conversation with the North Koreans". Should Trump agree to ease sanctions, Beijing is likely to be very willing to help North Korea rebuild its economy.

On Wednesday, an Italian coast guard vessel docked in Catania, Sicily with more than 900 migrants aboard in a sign that Italy under the populist 5-Star Movement and anti-migrant League is still accepting some migrants, but is forcing other countries to share the burden.

A Dutch-flagged humanitarian ship, the Sea Watch 3, was called by a U.S. Navy vessel to take on board 41 survivors and 12 bodies recovered after a shipwreck on Tuesday.

Salvini insisted Tuesday that the country's ports would no longer be open to foreign boats carrying migrants.

Under the EU's asylum laws - now the subject of a major political dispute and under revision - migrants must apply for asylum in the country where they first enter Europe.

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It's unclear at the moment how travel will shake out and how far teams will have to travel for matches. Fifa , in consultation with the local organising committee, will make the final venue decisions.