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Italy to host int'l conference on migration emergency: FM

Editor: zhangrui 丨Xinhua

05-05-2017 07:54 BJT

ROME, May 4 (Xinhua) -- Italy will host an international conference on the European migration emergency, Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said on Thursday.

He made the announcement while addressing a joint session of the parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee on security issues and Italy's Group of Seven (G7) presidency in 2017.

Alfano linked the initiative to the urgent need to stabilize Libya, the troubled northern African country from which the vast majority of migrant and refugee flows head to Italy and Europe.

Libya has been engulfed in a civil strife since the ouster of former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

"The stabilization of Libya has a tremendous value for us (Italy): it means national security, the end of human trafficking, and a reduction of the migration flow," Ansa news agency cited Alfano as saying.

The international conference will be held in the Italian capital on July 6, and would involve representatives from Libya and from countries of transit for migrants and refugees in Africa.

The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini, as well as Italy's EU partners will take part in the initiative, according to the minister.

Alfano also stressed the Italian diplomatic action was focused on the "centrality of the Mediterranean identity."

"UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has assured me of the utmost effort from him personally and from the UN on the Libyan issue," he told the committee.

The Italian government said it is committed to the G7 summit scheduled in Taormina, Sicily, on May 26-27 to provide "tangible support" to a political solution of the civil war in Syria.

"At the same time, we will work to have clear support towards a dialogue with Russia from the G7 summit," Alfano said.

Italy has assumed the rotating presidency of the G7 this year. The group comprises the world's seven major developed economies, namely the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan.

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