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France, Italy leaders meet Friday amid clash over migration

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PARIS (AP) — The French president’s office has confirmed the visit to France of Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday.

The Elysee said in a statement Thursday that Macron and Conte spoke by phone on Wednesday amid an escalating clash between the two countries over migration.

Italy demanded an apology after the French president accused the new Italian government of irresponsible behavior for refusing entry to a rescue ship with 629 migrants aboard.

Macron said he “had not made any comment intended to offend Italy and the Italian people,” the statement said.

Both leaders discussed the situation of the Aquarius ship and agreed on France and Italy’s commitment to organize emergency aid under humanitarian rules to assist people in danger, according to the French presidency.

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