Austrian Ambassador summoned by Italian Foriegn Ministry to discuss border closure
July 4, Rome: The Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, has asked Austrian ambassador over ministry to discuss Vienna's decision to re-introduce border controls.
The move comes as Austria announced it was ready to deploy troops and armored vehicles to the Italian border over the growing migrant inflow.“We need to prepare for the migration development in Italy, and I expect very promptly that border controls will have to be activated and assistance requested,” Hans Peter Doskozil told the online edition of the Krone daily.
By assistance the official means deploying 750 soldiers and four armored vehicles to the border, and the minister described the measure as “indispensable if the influx doesn’t diminish.” The forces can be fully operational within 72 hours, according to Doskozil.
“These are not battle tanks. These are armored vehicles without weapons which could block roads. These were already used during the refugee crisis 201/16 at the Spielfeld border crossing [with Slovenia],” a spokesman for Doskozil said, as cited by Reuters.
According to a report by the UNHCR, the estimated the number of migrants and refugees having arrived in Italy by sea this year at almost 85,000, while over 2,000 others have died or gone missing.
“This is not sustainable. We need to have other countries joining Italy and sharing that responsibility,” Vincent Cochetel, the UNHCR'S special envoy for the central Mediterranean, said in Geneva.
The Oslo Times International News Network