Italy and UK leaders unite on migration and agree on a Tunisia deal

During a visit to Rome on Saturday, Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak agreed to co-fund a project aimed at assisting migrants who are trying to return home from Tunisia. Sunak praised Meloni’s approach to combating illegal migration.

Formal discussions between the two leaders took place at Meloni’s office, and the leader of the British Conservatives also spoke at a gathering of her far-right Brothers of Italy party.

Both leaders have vowed to stop migrant boat landings on their country’s shores and in his speech, Sunak hailed the willingness of them both to “break from consensus”.

Both Sunak and Meloni have come under heavy fire for their respective policies, which include the former’s intention to transfer asylum seekers to Rwanda and the latter’s efforts to restrict the operations of charitable rescue ships in the Mediterranean.

During their conversation, Sunak and Meloni decided to provide funding for a project that would aid in migrant repatriations in Tunisia, which is where many migrants first arrive in Europe.

They “committed to co-fund a project to promote and assist the voluntary return of migrants from Tunisia to their countries of origin”, Downing Street said.

Meloni’s office said this would be in line with existing UN projects, without giving further details.

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