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France cancels visit of British minister to address migrant crisis



France canceled on Friday the visit of the British Interior Minister, scheduled on Sunday in Calais (north) for a meeting on migration with other European officials, after London asked Paris to recover the migrants who arrive on its shores.

In a message to his British counterpart Priti Patel, French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin called the letter sent by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to French President Emmanuel Macron a “disappointment” following the death of 27 migrants. in the English Channel.

Darmanin also charged against the publication of that letter on Twitter, for which he decided to cancel Patel’s participation in the meeting, which nevertheless remains with those responsible for Migration from France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and the European Commission.

The aim of the meeting scheduled for Sunday in Calais is to “reinforce police, judicial and humanitarian cooperation”, and “better fight” against the mafias that smuggle migrants, who hope to reach the United Kingdom from the nearby European shores.

In his letter to the French head of state, the British ‘premier’ asks to implement “a bilateral readmission agreement to make possible the return of all illegal migrants who cross the Channel.”

French government spokesman Gabriel Attal called the letter “poor in content and totally inappropriate in form.” “This ‘relocation’ agreement is obviously not what we need to fix the problem,” he added.

On Wednesday in the English Channel, 27 migrants, including three minors, died in the wreck of a boat that had sailed from northern France to the United Kingdom.

The event is the deadliest since the increase in these dangerous crossings in 2018, due to the stricter control of ports and the tunnel under the English Channel, which until then migrants used to reach England.

The political crisis over migrants occurs in a context of tension between the United Kingdom and France over the conditions for French fishing vessels to fish in British waters, as established after the British left the European Union (EU).

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