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Talks in Paris on Sunday on Italy's migrant crisis

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Talks in Paris on Sunday on Italy's migrant crisis
File photo: Carlo Hermann/AFP
10:38 CEST+02:00
The interior ministers of France, Germany and Italy will meet in Paris on Sunday to discuss a "coordinated approach" to help Italy deal with hordes of migrants arriving in its ports, a source said.
Italy on Wednesday threatened to suddenly stop vessels from other countries disembarking migrants at its ports after rescuing them in the Mediterranean.
French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb, German counterpart Thomas de Maiziere and Italy's Marco Minniti will meet European Union Commissioner for Refugees Dimitris Avramopoulos in the French capital, the informed source said.
"The aim is to have a coordinated and concerted approach to the influx of migrants in the central Mediterranean," as well as "how best to help the Italians," the source close to the issue said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron both expressed their backing for Italy after meeting in Berlin.
"Germany will certainly help Italy face this problem," Merkel said.
Macron meanwhile cited the Italian premier as saying that more than 80 percent of the migrants were seeking a better life economically and were not fleeing war or persecution.
Nearly 77,000 migrants have landed in Italy since January, up 15 percent on the same period in 2016.
"We are confronted with growing numbers that over time could severely test our reception system," Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni had said.
Speaking in Ottawa, Italian President Sergio Mattarella warned that "if we continue with these kind of figures, the situation will become  unmanageable, even for a large and open country like ours".
Mattarella called on the fellow EU nations to make a "concrete contribution" to help Rome deal with the problem.
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