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Malta summit urges EU to stop migration at source

Malta’s Prime Minister Robert Abela (L) welcomes Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni
— Mdina (Malta) (AFP)

The leaders of nine Mediterranean and southern European countries called Friday for a "significant increase" in the EU's efforts to tackle the thorny issue of migration at its roots, in origin and transit countries.

Italian far-right Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said that front-line countries were struggling to deal with arrivals now, but without "structural" solutions from the bloc, "everyone will be overwhelmed".

A sharp rise in migrants landing on the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa earlier this month has reignited tensions within the bloc and provided impetus to work for a fresh common strategy.

French President Emmanuel Macron called for "a united European response", urging "solidarity with Italy, as we must show solidarity with all the countries of first entry".

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