EU shouldn't judge Donald Trump's migrant ban, says Italian Foreign Minister

Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said the EU is in no position to judge US President Donald Trump's migrant ban.
Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said the EU is in no position to judge US President Donald Trump's migrant ban. PHOTO: REUTERS

ROME (AFP) - Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said on Monday (Jan 30) that the European Union, having put up its own barriers, was in no position to judge US President Donald Trump's immigration decrees.

Europe "is not in a good position to give opinions about the choices of others. Or is it that we want to forget that we too erect walls in Europe", said Mr Alfano in an interview with the daily Corriere della Sera.

During Europe's 2015 migrant crisis, as tens of thousands of desperate people arrived mainly from the war-torn Middle East, the Balkan countries shut their borders, with Hungary putting up fences to stop the influx.

Mr Alfano, who was interior minister until December, noted however that Italy has taken a different position on refugees and migrants.

Italy as a "world champion" rescuer of migrants crossing the Mediterranean and welcoming them to its shores, can attest to the fact that "security and solidarity can go hand in hand", he said.

"Our vision is different (from Trump's) and up to now has shown to be successful with regard to security," he added, noting there was no conflating of migration and terrorism.

Mr Trump on Friday signed a three-month ban on travellers from seven Muslim countries and suspended the arrival of refugees to the United States for at least 120 days, provoking criticism and protests around the world.