Spains says France to take in Aquarius ship migrants

Tiphaine Auziere opens up about her mother Brigitte Macron's relationship with French President Emmanuel Macron

Speaking at a joint press conference in Paris, the French President and Mr Conte said they both support the idea of more solidarity within the European Union regarding migrants and asylum seekers and vowed to a reform of the EU Dublin Treaty.

Under the EU's Dublin Agreement, which is now up for review, migrants hoping to apply for asylum must do so in the first country they enter, a policy which has placed a huge burden on Italy in particular.

The Aquarius, operated by the aid group SOS Mediterranee, is making the 930-mile voyage to Spain accompanied by an Italian coast guard vessel, which has taken on board some of the migrants.

"The very concept of a state of first entry needs to be rethought", he argued.

Cordt, who took over the agency at the beginning of 2017, was caught in the fallout from a scandal centering on the Bremen branch of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees.

Spanish authorities say they will examine the migrants case-by-case to see if they qualify for asylum according to the country's regulations.

Salvini, leader of the anti-immigrant League, lost no time in falling out with some close European allies over his decision to deny access to port for a refugee vessel earlier this month.

The French president urged greater solidarity with Rome over the migrant crisis, calling for "profound reforms" of European Union asylum rules known as the Dublin regulation.

The EU is deeply divided over asylum policy.

On Wednesday, Germany's Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said Austria and Italy should ally themselves with Germany to work at the interior minister level on security and immigration.

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Macron had been critical of Italy's refusal to accept the Aquarius migrants but later worked to smooth things over later with Italy's Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte.

"Italy is facing giant challenges and I can understand that in the past Italy got the feeling it didn't receive enough solidarity from European countries", German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in an interview with Corriere della Sera, adding that he invited his Italian counterpart Enzo Moavero Milanesi to Berlin.

France also said it was willing to take in migrants from the Aquarius after they arrive in Spain if they "meet the criteria for asylum".

Terms such as "axis" "have never brought us anything good in the past", Macron remarked, before suggesting that Salvini's links with fellow migration hardliners might be put to better use persuading them to help Italy deal with its arrivals.

Macron says eurozone needs "its own budget" to support investments.

The spat between France and Italy erupted this week after Macron accused Rome of "cynicism and irresponsibility" for refusing to let the Aquarius dock.

Italy's new government hit back, accusing Paris of giving "hypocritical lessons" and threatening to pull out of the meeting with Macron.

But he sought Thursday to cool the tensions, saying that "none of his comments were meant to offend Italy".

This has placed a significant burden in recent years on the countries where most undocumented migrants arrive.

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