Italy summons French Ambassador amid migrant boat row

Amid an escalation with France's president over the refusal to take in stranded migrants in the Mediterranean, Emmanuel Macron calling for "not giving in to emotion" and insists he's working with the government in Rome.

Meanwhile, Economy Minister Giovanni Tria cancelled a meeting with his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire while Foreign Minister Enrico Moavero Milanesi summoned the French ambassador and said French statements had been "unacceptable".

Mr Macron had suggested Italy's new leadership was attempting to make a high-profile break with previous governments in refusing to take in the ship, instead of dealing with underlying issues such as development and security in the migrants' home countries. Spain then stepped in and offered the port of Valencia, where the Aquarius is heading.

"Italy can not accept hypocritical lessons about migration from countries that have always preferred to look away", said a statement from the office of Premier Giuseppe Conte.

"So I ask President Macron to pass from words to action and tomorrow morning welcome the 9,000 France promised to welcome as a sign of concrete generosity and not just words", Salvini said to applause in the Senate chamber.

"That has to be shared, otherwise it won't work", he said.

"Europe must stick together", she said, acknowledging Italy's concern that it had taken in many migrants but fellow European Union countries were not showing sufficient solidarity.

Macron said Rome had acted with "cynicism and irresponsibility" by closing its ports to a migrant ship earlier this week, setting off a bitter diplomatic spat between the two countries, with Italy's new Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte considering putting off a meeting with Macron due on Friday.

Salvini has accused European aid groups of essentially operating taxi services for Libya-based human traffickers and said Italy will now refuse their rescue ships entry.

An Italian coast guard vessel has docked in Sicily with more than 900 migrants aboard, evidence that Italy's new anti-migrant government is still taking in some asylum-seekers but is forcing the rest of Europe to accept others. The French president's office said France didn't want to "start a precedent" that would allow some European countries to breach global laws and rely on other EU member states to take in migrants.

Under the EU's asylum laws - now the subject of revision amid a major political dispute - migrants must apply for asylum in the country where they first enter Europe.

A Dutch-flagged humanitarian ship, the Sea Watch 3, was called by a U.S. Navy vessel to take on board 41 survivors and 12 bodies recovered after a shipwreck on Tuesday.

Despite the comments, Paris said it had not received any formal request for an apology and that it believed the planned meeting between its respective leaders would go ahead.

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