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Conte 'has meeting with Merkel' at Nato summit

POLITICS
Conte 'has meeting with Merkel' at Nato summit

Photo: AFP

Italy's populist premier Giuseppe Conte had a brief meeting on Wednesday with Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Nato summit in Brussels, said sources at the prime minister's office in Rome.

The talks between Conte and Merkel lasted around 10 minutes and the sources did not say if the two leaders discussed the thorny issue of the secondary movement of asylum-seekers within the European Union.

The German government plans to turn back at the border migrants who have claimed asylum in the EU country they first arrived in - most often Italy - but the Italian government has vowed not to take any back.

Conte had a meeting earlier on Wednesday with Poland's president Andrzej Duda which centred on migration and on strengthening trade bilateral trade ties, the sources said, describing the talks as "frank".

The sources said Conte and Duda discussed ways of managing the migrant influx, on which European Union leaders last month agreed to step up cooperation by creating secure migrant processing centres in various EU countries, tightening the bloc's borders, setting up 'disembarkation platforms' outside the EU and redistributing refugees from Italy and other arrival states.

Conte is expected to hold a meeting on Thursday with Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is also attending the NATO summit.

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