CCTV.com - CNTV English - CCTV News

Italy, France announce agreement on immigration patrol

04-09-2011 13:10 BJT

MILAN, Italy, April 8 (Xinhua) -- Italy and France have agreed to work together to stem the flow of illegal immigrants fleeing the turmoil in North Africa.

Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni and French counterpart Claude Gueant met here Friday and hammered out an agreement to deal with the issue.

"We agreed on the creation of a workgroup aimed at taking initiatives to block the departure of illegal migrants from Tunisia," Maroni told a press conference after the one-hour meeting at Milan Prefecture.

He said Italy and France would start a combined aerial and naval surveillance of the Tunisian coast to prevent illegal departures, and study together a repatriation program with the help of the European Union.

"Italy cannot be left alone to face this situation, the European Union must play a more active role," the Italian minister said, adding he was "satisfied" with the meeting because "everything can be solved though collaboration".

Gueant said there was agreement on the interpretation and application of the Schengen Treaty, subject of rising tensions between the two countries after Italy granted temporary visas to thousands of North African migrants who have arrived by boats in the past three months, mainly from Tunisia.

"Temporary residence permits issued by the Italian government open the possibility of free circulation in Schengen states, but in accordance with article 5 of the treaty, migrants should have with them documents and financial resources, and it is up to each country to verify these conditions," he said.

In his view, "there is no reason why France and Italy should welcome all these migrants who came to Europe for economic reasons, so we will work together to repatriate them".

According to Maroni, 26,000 migrants, most of them from Tunisia, have landed in Italy so far this year following turmoil in North Africa.

The diplomatic talks on immigration issues will continue next Monday at a gathering of the EU's justice and home affairs ministers in Luxembourg.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

Hot Videos view more

The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
Germany coach Loew honored in hometown of Freiburg

Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
USA beat Slovenia 119-76 in quarter-finals

Hot Stories more

UK authorities believe killer of James Foley is a British national

Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.

Israeli war jets renews Gaza strike as truce talks stalled

Three Palestinians were killed and 40 others wounded in the intensive Israeli war jets´ airstrikes on the Gaza city on Tuesday night, shortly before an end of a 24-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,

Missouri police arrest dozens after violent night

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing ´heavy gunfire´ from some ´criminal elements´, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

Picture in news more

More Video News

Choose TV Program