Italy's FM Calls Off Paris Trip Amid Diplomatic Row

    Italy's FM Calls Off Paris Trip Amid Diplomatic Row
    Last updated May 06, 2023
    Image credit: AFP/Getty Images [via The Guardian]


    • Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani on Thursday called off a trip to Paris, citing comments from French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin on Rome's migration management that he said were offensive and a "stab in the back."[1]
    • This decision comes despite France quickly reaffirming its willingness to cooperate with Italy after Darmanin told RMC radio that Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni had lied to voters and was incapable of solving the migration problem.[2]
    • Franco-Italian relations have long been characterized by ups and downs, particularly on the migration issue — which seemed to have chilled out earlier this year as Darmanin hosted his counterpart, Matteo Piantedosi, in February.[3]
    • Paris, however, has recently announced the deployment of 150 extra police officers to the Italian border amid worries that many of the more than 42K migrants who have arrived in Italy so far this year will move on to France.[4]
    • In an interview with the media company Cnews on Friday, French government spokesman Olivier Véran made a conciliatory statement to reassert that Paris didn't intend to either "ostracize" or impose policies on its EU partner.[5]
    • Tajani pointed out that Véran's words acknowledged that Paris had made a serious mistake that offended the Italian government and reassured that Rome doesn't want to break off relations with France.[6]


    Left narrative

    Though Italy's Meloni campaigned on stopping the landing of migrant boats on Italian shores, her success on this matter was short-lived as the number of people entering the country by boats has skyrocketed since January. The migration crisis in Europe can only be successfully addressed if the EU operates as a cohesive group to deal with the root causes that are prompting people to risk their lives to flee their own countries.

    Right narrative

    It is ridiculous that Darmanin has attempted to pass the buck on the migration issue, aggressively blaming Italy's Meloni for the current crisis. Ironically, it's the leader of his country, Pres. Emmanuel Macron, who should take the initiative to coordinate the European response to the chaos in the Mediterranean as he has posed as the EU's senior statesman since late 2021.

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