France wants ‘serious’ talks with UK on migrants

France wants 'serious' talks with UK on migrants
Frontex is set to send a plane to help police monitor the area. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: France’s interior minister has said he wants to work with the UK on migration but that talks need to be serious.

Gérald Darmanin made the comments at a meeting of European officials following the deaths of 27 people who drowned in the English Channel this week as they tried to cross from France to the UK

The UK’s invitation to the meeting was halted in a diplomatic row with France.

Home Secretary Priti Patel described her absence at the meeting in Calais as “unfortunate”.

But she says she is holding separate urgent talks with European ministers this week.

The UK’s absence came after Emmanuel Macron reacted angrily to Boris Johnson’s public call for France to take back migrants who reach the UK.

The French president accused the UK prime minister of showing a lack of seriousness by publishing the letter on Twitter.

The UK government insisted that the letter was sincere and urged France to reconsider its invitation, with Mr Johnson saying: “This is a problem we have to fix together.”

Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Germany and the European Commission attended the talks in Calais, which Mr Macron set up to deal with the recent surge in migrant crossings of the Channel.

The sinking of an inflatable boat last Wednesday marked the biggest loss of life by drowning in the Channel in many years, with 17 men, seven women – one of whom was pregnant – and three children dying.

Many of the victims came from Iraqi Kurdistan. They include Maryam Nuri Mohamed Amin, the first to be named, who was trying to join her fiance in the UK.

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