Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and her British counterpart Rishi Sunak have vowed to fight “illegal” migration to Europe, describing the issue as a humanitarian crisis, with shipwrecks of unsafe boats claiming more than 2,000 lives this year.
“Every week, thousands of migrants cross the Mediterranean to reach Italy, entering Europe illegally. Many head north and cross the English Channel to reach the UK. That is why, as heads of government of Italy and the UK, we are working together to stop the boats and we call on everyone to act with the same sense of urgency,” Meloni and Sunak stated in a joint op-ed published in the Italian daily Corriere Della Sera on Thursday.
It is an ethical crisis, with criminal gangs exploiting and profiting from the misery of the most vulnerable. It is a humanitarian crisis, with shipwrecks of unsafe boats that have already claimed more than 2,000 lives this year, they stated.
“And it is a European crisis: as President von der Leyen indicated during her visit to Lampedusa last month, it is the nation states that decide who arrives in Europe, not smugglers and traffickers.”
They emphasized that only by halting the migrant flow can the trust of Italian and British citizens be restored, and the two countries’ historical role as safe havens for asylum seekers and refugees be protected.
“Our determination to tackle this problem is already bearing fruit. It has led to a change of pace in the debate across Europe. The nations of our continent are recognizing that the current approach is not working. There is growing awareness of the need for closer cooperation and tougher measures to crack down on human traffickers,” Meloni and Sunak stated.
Source : AA