The conference that aims to reduce migration to Europe by providing aid to Africa is launched by Italy's Meloni

Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni called for new, more equal relationships between Europe and migrants' countries of origin and transit at a summit of 20 nations, EU officials, and international organizations aimed at stanching flows of illegal migration. The conference aims to make Italy a leader in resolving issues impacting Mediterranean nations, such as migration and energy. Human rights groups see the meeting as creating a future roadmap, and worry it will amount to anti-migrant policies that put the onus on Africa to keep Africans out of Europe. Meloni proposed four main prongs for future cooperation: fighting criminal organizations trafficking migrants, better managing flows of migrants, supporting refugees, and helping countries of origin. She said the West often has given the impression of being more interested in giving lessons rather than lending a hand, which has made it difficult to make progress on solutions. If flows were better managed, there would be more room for legal migration. The conference comes against the backdrop of migrants being pushed back from Tunisia into Libya, where they are stuck in the desert. Pope Francis called on leaders in Europe and Africa to find a solution to the thousands of people blocked at borders in North Africa. He called for a sense of "fraternity, solidarity, and welcoming." The Rome summit comes a week after Tunisian President Kais Saied signed a memorandum of understanding for a "comprehensive strategic partnership." The EU has held out the promise of nearly 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) to help restart Tunisia's hobbled economy, 100 million euros ($111 million) for border control, search and rescue missions at sea, and repatriating immigrants without residence permits. Migrants pay traffickers thousands to make the perilous journey across Africa's deserts, many reporting torture and abuse along the way.


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