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Salvini to visit Tunisia and Nigeria

Salvini to visit Tunisia and Nigeria

Italy's hardline interior minister Matteo Salvini will on Thursday travel to Tunisia and Nigeria - the homelands of the highest number of migrants who currently cross to Italy from Africa, he said.

"Thursday will see my first trip to Tunisia, followed by Nigeria, because these are the two countries where migrants who land in Italy most often come from," Salvini told a press conference at the prime minister's office in Rome on Monday.

The press conference followed the cabinet's approval of a security decree that strips convicted terrorists of Italian citizenship and tightens rules for refugees and asylum-seekers.

Human traffickers are increasingly using Tunisia as a launch pad for migrants heading to Europe since a crackdown by Libyan coast guard, aided by armed groups. Ahead of Salvini's visit, Italian and Tunisian officials reportedly held talks at the interior ministry in Rome last week aimed at accelerating the expulsion from Italy of Tunisian migrants.

Tunisian and Nigerian migrants most frequently cite poor economic conditions and high unemployment in their home countries as their reason for heading to Europe.