Italian PM Giorgia Meloni launches ‘dialogue of equals’ on migration in Rome
ROME (ANSA) – Premier Giorgia Meloni on Sunday inaugurated a “dialogue of equals” on migration and development based on converging interests between Europe and countries in the broader Mediterranean area. “What we are inaugurating today is above all a dialogue between equals, based on mutual respect,” said Meloni, opening an international conference at the foreign ministry in Rome that seeks to address irregular migration and promote growth.
“Between Europe and the enlarged Mediterranean there cannot be a competitive or conflictual relationship, because in reality the interests are much more convergent than we ourselves recognise,” she added.
“Italy and Europe need immigration, but we cannot send the signal that those who enter illegally will be rewarded.
If, on the one hand, we are open to letting people in but then do not address what will become of them in our countries, that is not solidarity,” said Meloni
“Mass irregular migration harms everyone except criminal organizations, which use their strength to play with the lives of the most fragile people,” she continued, calling for “joint efforts and more cooperation to fight the network of traffickers”.
Meloni said in tackling migration the partnership with countries of origin “must be equal, predatory, multidimensional and long-term”.
“It must be based on respect and not on a paternalistic approach, on solidarity, on respect for each other’s sovereignty, on shared responsibility for upholding legality,” said the premier.
This, she insisted, “is the only serious way to strengthen our bond, trust each other and foster the development and prosperity of our peoples”.
Before the conference Meloni met with Tunisian President Kais Saied and other leaders, according to Palazzo Chigi sources.
“This is the beginning of a path,’ the premier reportedly told Saied.
“Tunisia and Italy have a common future,” Saïed is said to have replied. ANSA