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Italy Summons French Ambassador in Row Over Migrant Ship

French President Emmanuel Macron

Grandi said that, even if the European Union succeeded in helping transit countries to manage the migrant flows before they arrive in Europe, "some people will continue to want to seek asylum in Europe".

"France says that we are cynical but between January 1 and May 31 it turned back 10,249 people at the border, including women and disabled children, " Salvini stated.

Following the standoff between Italy and Malta on the migrant rescue on Monday, MaltaToday took to the streets of Valletta to find out what the public thinks on the matter.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has confirmed that he would meet with the French president despite the latter's having earlier slammed the Italian government for its "cynical" response to the migrant ship crisis.

France's foreign ministry responded by saying that it is "perfectly aware" of the pressure on Italy as it copes with an influx of migrants from Africa, adding it is "committed to cooperation and dialogue" with Rome.

Italy has summoned the French ambassador for consultations after French President Emmanuel Macron criticized what he called Italy's cynicism and irresponsibility in turning away a migrant rescue ship with more than 600 people aboard.

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.

In the aftermath of a separate rescue in waters off Libya, the U.S. Navy said it was still awaiting a decision on where it could disembark 40 African migrants it rescued at sea after a smugglers' boat capsized on Tuesday.

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"It's a relief for everyone, our teams and of course above all for the survivors, to know that they are finally allowed to head to a safe port in Europe", Beau told reporters in Marseille, France.

High waves are said to have caused migrants on board to become seasick, with many being taken inside the ship to be treated.

While Italy has taken much of the flak over the Aquarius, Macron has come in for criticism at home - for remaining silent for two days while the ship was adrift and then laying the blame exclusively at Italy's feet.

Conte said he and Macron "agreed on the need to cooperate closely" on migration issues.

Italy's controversial new interior minister has hit back at criticism of his migrants policy by the French government after he refused to allow 629 people on a charity ship to come ashore in Sicily.

The two partners in Italy's populist government, Mr Salvini, of the anti-immigration, hard-Right League party, and Luigi Di Maio of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, both lashed out on social media on Tuesday.

That drop appears to be a result of a 2017 deal between Italy and Libya in which the southern European country pledged to bolster Libya's coast guard so it could spot departing migrant boats and house migrants attempting the crossing.

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