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Sunak says UK, Italy ‘aligned’ as he meets far-right Meloni

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LONDON — Prime Minister Rishi Sunak declared that Britain and Italy are “very aligned” in values as he welcomed far-right Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni on Thursday for talks centered on migration, protection and the struggle in Ukraine.

Whereas Sunak meets leaders of all political stripes from world wide, he had notably heat phrases as he greeted Meloni at 10 Downing St., the British chief’s official residence.

The Conservative prime minister praised Meloni’s “very cautious dealing with of the Italian financial system.”

“I believe the values between our two international locations are very aligned, which is why we are able to work so properly collectively on shared challenges, whether or not it’s responding to Putin’s unlawful invasion in Ukraine, the place once more I pay tribute to your management, but in addition tackling unlawful migration, which is one thing that’s widespread to each of us,” Sunak mentioned.

The 2 governments share an curiosity in stopping migrants reaching their international locations by boat.

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Sunak’s administration is passing a invoice by way of Parliament that can deny the suitable to asylum to anybody who arrives within the U.Okay. with out permission. The laws has been condemned by refugee teams and the United Nations’ human rights physique.

The federal government additionally plans to ship migrants who arrive by boat on a one-way journey to Rwanda, an equally controversial plan that’s being blocked by authorized challenges.

Meloni, whose far-right Brothers of Italy social gathering leads Italy’s right-wing coalition authorities, has led a crackdown on people-smugglers and on rescue ships operated by charities that she says encourage migrants to danger harmful voyages from north Africa throughout the Mediterranean.

Meloni instructed Sunak that “tackling traffickers and unlawful migration is one thing that your authorities is doing very properly. I’m following your work and I completely agree along with your work and I believe there are a lot of issues that we are able to do collectively.”

Meloni mentioned “there may be far more that we are able to do on many subjects on which we’re on the identical aspect – protection, Ukraine.”

In contrast to some far-right populists within the West, Meloni has taken a strongly pro-NATO, pro-European place on Russia’s struggle in Ukraine.

After their assembly the 2 leaders had been as a consequence of have a personal tour of Westminster Abbey, the place King Charles III shall be topped on Might 6.

A bunch of protesters gathered outdoors the gates of Downing Road because the leaders met, holding indicators that learn “No to fascist Meloni” and chanting: “Refugees in, Meloni out.”

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