Austria’s Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz says Italy should stop allowing illegal migrants from reaching the mainland. He said allowing them movement is giving them a gateway to Europe.
The comments were made during a meeting with his Italian counterpart Angelino Alfano, in Vienna.
It’s estimated Italy has admitted around 500,000 refugees and migrants since 2014 and the numbers continue to grow.
MSF Sea (@MSF_Sea) July 14, 2017
However, earlier this month, the Italian foreign ministry summoned the Austrian ambassador to Rome after Vienna said it was ready to deploy up to 750 troops at the Brenner Pass “very soon” unless the flow of migrants from Italy diminishes.
“If Italy were to continue its transfers to the mainland, not only will Central Europe be overwhelmed, but drownings will continue”, Kurz said, adding that rescue operations in the Mediterranean “should not be a ticket for Central Europe”.
Good conversation with #Alfano on bilateral bez & #Migration. Support the Italian initiative for a code of conduct for NGOs
Habe unsere Forderung nach Schließung d #Mittelmeerroute & Einstellung d Fährverkehrs v d italienischen Inseln auf Festland wiederholt. 2/2— Sebastian Kurz (@sebastiankurz) July 20, 2017
Have our demands of closing #Mittelmeerroute of ferry – Italian islands to mainland reviewed
Kurz said the meeting with Alfano was productive although they did not share “the same position”.