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Meloni, Macron talk migrant crisis, Ukraine at French presidential palace

Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni and French President Emmanuel Macron buried the latest dispute between their countries Tuesday during a meeting at which they seemed to agree on all topics, from military support for Ukraine to the need to slow down migration across the Mediterranean Sea.

One of the deadliest migrant shipwrecks in the Mediterranean, which occurred off southern Greece last week, has injected new urgency into European Union efforts to fix the 27-nation bloc’s immigration and asylum policies.

After his talks with Meloni at the French presidential palace, the centrist Macron praised the “good work and coordination between our two countries″ on migration, including to “work better with the countries of origin and transit in order to avoid incoming flows.″

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Giorgia Meloni, Emmanuel Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron hosted Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni on Tuesday at the presidential palace in Paris. (Ludovic Marin, Pool via AP)

Italy and France have sparred over migration since Meloni took office last year as Italy’s first far-right leader since World War II.

Her government’s hard-line migration policies included standoffs with humanitarian rescue ships. Tensions spiked in the fall after Italy forced France’s hand to accept a migrant rescue ship with 234 people on board after Italy had refused the Ocean Viking port for weeks.

The French and Italian foreign ministers met last month in Rome to resume collaboration.

Their talks were aimed at preparing for an EU summit this month in Brussels and a NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, next month, according to the French presidency.

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Meloni was also in Paris to garner support for Italy’s bid to host the 2030 World Expo, at a key meeting Tuesday of the Paris-based International Bureau of Exhibitions.

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