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Migrants: France issues warning to Italy

People on Ocean Viking watch a French coastguard patrol boat approach the ship on Thursday. Photograph: Vincenzo Circosta/AFP/Getty Images

France has warned that there will be serious consequences if Italy continues to turn back migrants rescued from the Mediterranean Sea.

The warning came after the government in Rome last month banned the Ocean Viking, a ship carrying 234 migrants rescued at sea, from entering Italian ports.

In an interview with Le Parisien newspaper, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna described Italy's act as a "strong disappointment" and also said it was shocking.

She said that Italy's decision violates international and maritime law, noting that the country must accept the distressed people transported by the ship.
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