France, UK postpone immigration summit

20th November 2003, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 20 (AFP) - Weekend talks between French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy and British Home Secretary David Blunkett on illegal immigration have been pushed back until early 2004, Sarkozy's office said Thursday.

PARIS, Nov 20 (AFP) - Weekend talks between French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy and British Home Secretary David Blunkett on illegal immigration have been pushed back until early 2004, Sarkozy's office said Thursday.

The two ministers were set to meet Sunday on France's Normandy coast in the town of Ouistreham and the port of Le Havre before heading across the Channel to London later the same day on the flow of illegal migrants into Britain.

But the French interior ministry said the meeting was postponed as Britain preferred to wait until after the ratification of an agreement reached at the Anglo-French summit in February on joint immigration controls at ports.

French President Jacques Chirac and British Prime Minister Tony Blair are due to hold fresh summit talks in London on Monday.

Paris and London were at odds for years over the flow of illegal immigrants through France into Britain, specifically through a Red Cross migrant camp in the village of Sangatte, near the Channel port of Calais.

Shut down in November 2002 and demolished a month later, the Sangatte refugee camp served during its three years in existence as a temporary home to some 68,000 illegal migrants, mainly Afghans and Iraqi Kurds.

© AFP

Subject: French news



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