G7 Summit: Migrant Landings Banned During Conference

Sicily, Italy (Google Images)

Crispian Balmer of Reuters Africa is reporting migrant boats that typically land in Sicily will be banned during the 43rd G7 being held May 26-27 in Taormina (ME). The main G7 countries include Canada, United States of America, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the European Union. Invited guests include Ethiopia, Kenya, Tunisia and Nigeria. The mission or theme of this year’s summit is “Building the Foundations of Renewed Trust,” which will try to address citizen’s mistrust of governments. One of the main goals of the summit is to stress that “governments should first and foremost adopt policies aimed at meeting their citizen’s overall expectations.” Does the migrant boat ban mean that the plight of African migrants will be ignored?

Balmer reports:

“A common sight off Sicily in recent years, the authorities have banned all migrant landings on the island during the Group of Seven Summit for security reasons, telling rescue vessels that pick them up at sea to take them to the mainland during the two-day meeting.

Out of sight does not mean out of mind. Italy chose to host the summit in Taormina, on the cliffs of eastern Sicily, to concentrate minds on Europe’s migrant crisis and to seek ways of developing Africa’s economy to hold back the human tide.

‘Africa is very important for us. Indeed, it is perhaps the focus of our G7 presidency,’ said Raffaele Trombetta, the senior Italian diplomat who has led behind-the-scenes negotiations on the G7 agenda with colleagues from the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France and Canada.

‘We don’t just want to talk about crises, like migration and famine, but also to promote innovation in Africa and see what we can do to help,’ he told Reuters.”

Read more of Crispian Balmer’s story at Reuters Africa.

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