18:14 GMT04 April 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Europe should respect Italy for using its sovereign right to reject the Aquarius rescue ship and the hundreds of migrants on board in a situation where the country has been experiencing a severe migration crisis since 2005, Nicolas Dhuicq, a spokesman for defense issues at the Debout La France (France Arise) party, told Sputnik.

    "Italy has been alone for many years and it has a sovereign right to protect its shores and it was right on Rome’s part to stop that ship. We should respect this position and praise Italy for it," Dhuicq said.

    Earlier in the day, Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, speaking at a news conference with France’s President Emanuel Macron, called for reforms of EU asylum rules, the Dublin Regulation, proposing that the European Union set up centers to process asylum claims in migrants' countries of origin. Macron, in turn, echoed Conte’s remarks, stressing the need to modify current migration rules and criticizing the European Union for not sharing the burden with Rome over the migrant crisis.

    READ MORE: Merkel's EU-Wide Take on Migrant Crisis Makes Reasonable Solution Unlikely – AfD

    The Aquarius, a vessel carrying hundreds of migrants, is getting ready to dock in Spain's Valencia over the weekend after being stranded in the Mediterranean for days. Italy and Malta have refused to let it dock. The situation with the ship sparked a diplomatic spat between Italy and France.

    European countries have been experiencing a severe migration crisis since 2015 due to the influx of thousands of migrants and refugees fleeing hostilities in their home countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Anti-immigration political forces have been receiving increased support since the onset of the refugee crisis, as was demonstrated, in particular, by the recent Italy's and Slovenia's elections.

    The views and opinions expressed by Nicolas Dhuicq are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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