Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser (SDE) affirmed Estonia's support of Italy concerning the increased migration pressure the country is currently experiencing. Mikser is in Rome, where he met with his counterpart, Angelino Alfano.
Mikser met with Alfano ahead of a high-level migration conference in Rome on Thursday, the Foreign Ministry told BNS. The minister affirmed the good relations between Estonia and Italy and the countries’ close cooperation in the European Union and NATO.
Mikser told Alfano that Estonia as the currently presiding member state was committed to issues concerning migration, and agreed that Italy had to carry a very large part of the joint burden of the migration crisis.
"We have recently carried out an extraordinary allocation of €1 million to the European Union Trust Fund for Africa in order to help stop the migration pressure from Libya," Mikser said. He affirmed that in addition to working with Greece, Estonia was ready to start the relocation of refugees from Italy as well.
Alfano emphasized the need for further cooperation with the migration transit countries in Africa, and said that the migration conference taking place in Rome was a good platform for that.
Approximately 80,000 illegal immigrants have reached Italy from Libya in the first six months of this year, which makes up 85 percent of all illegal immigration to the EU in 2017 so far.
The migration pressure has reached such intensity over the past few weeks that Italy is no longer able to receive all refugees. The situation is also discussed at a meeting of the EU’s interior and justice ministers in Tallinn on Thursday and Friday.
Editor: Dario Cavegn