Migrants: Malta agreement a turning point, Conte says

'But it isn't the definitive solution yet'

24 September, 12:38

    (ANSAmed) - New York, September 24 - Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte on Tuesday told ANSA that an agreement reached Monday in Malta on sharing the burden of asylum seekers who arrive via sea from North Africa marks a ''turning point''.

    ''It is not the definitive solution yet but it is certainly a turning point, a significant step forward'', Conte told ANSA on the sidelines of a UN general assembly, commenting the temporary arrangement for the disembarkation and relocation of migrants reached after talks between the interior ministers of Italy, Malta, France, Germany and Finland.

    ''Principles that are positive for us were certainly affirmed, because until now it was difficult to translate the principle that those arriving in Italy arrived in Europe'', said the premier.

    He recalled the new ''automatic redistribution system that embraces asylum seekers, therefore everybody''.

    ''Moreover, the principle that Italy cannot be the only first landing place is starting to be affirmed'' and ''that there must be a rotation'', he continued.

    ''Now we need to see how many countries will participate in this mechanism and we will need to work on repatriations'', he concluded.

    The agreement, which will next have to be put to the other EU member States, among other things features the redistribution of all asylum seekers, not just people who have been recognized as refugees. (ANSAmed)
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