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Rome, Oct 13 (IANS/AKI) Italy is proud to be rescuing hundreds of thousands of people off its long Mediterranean coast and is the western country that is "most directly involved" in saving migrant lives, Premier Paolo Gentiloni said on Friday.
"Italy sits in the Mediterranean and is the country that witnesses migration and is the most directly involved on that front, a commitment that I am proud of.
"We are proud to continue to save hundreds of thousands of human lives," he told a conference in Rome on migration, climate and agriculture taking place at the Accademia dei Lincei.
Instead of ending the so-called migration emergency, the challenge facing the international community is to allow immigrants to enter countries and work there legally, said Gentiloni.
"Whoever claims the migration phenomenon will soon end is taking utter nonsense," Gentiloni said at the conference, adding: "The challenge is not to talk about ending an emergency but to transform criminal and illegal phenomena into managed, legal ones that benefit host societies".
Legal migration will be discussed at the Global Migration Compact at the United Nations next year, he added.
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