Mediterranean and Middle East countries will meet in Rome on Sunday to boost efforts to stem illegal migration flows, with Italy saying the aim is to help countries in Africa in order to reduce the impetus for migrants to reach Europe.
The meeting will focus on building partnership for projects in sectors including agriculture, infrastructure and health, an Italian government statement said on Friday.
“The conference aims to govern the migration phenomenon, combat human trafficking and promote economic development according to a new model of cooperation between states,” the statement said.
“This is a foreign policy initiative where Italy will exercise its key role in the wider Mediterranean, with the aim of launching a multi-year road map, with concrete and verifiable commitments by the participating States on development and migration,” adds the statement.
Planned participants include Tunisia, Turkey, Libya, Algeria and the United Arab Emirates, along with the European Union and the IMF, Italian officials told Reuters.