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Italian FM Slams Austria for Unilateral Steps to Curb Migrant Flow

© AP PhotoA migrant opens his arms as he waits to disembark from the German Navy ship Hessen at the Palermo harbor, Italy.
A migrant opens his arms as he waits to disembark from the German Navy ship Hessen at the Palermo harbor, Italy. - Sputnik International
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Italy's Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni condemned Austria on Wednesday for unilateral steps to close a border pass with Italy, saying this approach would not resolve the migrant crisis.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Austria has reportedly been tightening controls on its southern border with Italy, including building a fence at the Brenner Pass. Austrian Defense Minister Hans Peter Doskozil announced a plan last Saturday to deploy troops to the area.

"Austria is a friendly country with whom I hope we can continue to cooperate, but we cannot accept the logic of these unilateral gestures that would compromise this capacity for cooperation," the diplomat said as quoted by the national news agency ANSA.

Migrants throw stones at Macedonian police during clashes next to a border fence at a makeshift camp at the Greek-Macedonian border near the village of Idomeni, Greece - Sputnik International
Macedonian Police Use Tear Gas Against Migrants on Greek Border
Gentiloni slammed Austrian authorities for trying to "offload" responsibility for the ever rising number of migrants coming ashore in southern Europe on Italy and urged for a joint EU action.

The UN refugee agency estimates that over 17,000 migrants arrived in Italy in the first three months of 2016 after crossing the Mediterranean Sea. Most of them are from the Middle East and North Africa.

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