Valletta Summit: EU-Africa leaders meet amid differences

The trust fund of €1.8 billion set up by the EU to respond to the refugee crisis over the past few days appears to be the most concrete measure on the table of the Valletta summit on migration.

The fund will receive funding from the European Commission and any contributions member states will make. Malta has pledged €250,000.

But the summit is likely to bring out the difference in emphasis between EU states intent on securing their borders and African countries seeking legal avenues for migration.

Oxfam has urged EU and African leaders to use this major summit to address the causes forcing people to flee their homes. The aid agency has also warned EU states not to prioritise their own agenda of tightened borders and increased state security, saying it would rather see funds spent on developing schools and hospitals in Africa rather than erecting fences.

The two-day summit called back in April in the wake of the biggest sea disaster that saw almost 800 migrants die when their boat capsized in the central Mediterranean, will see EU leaders and 33 African counterparts converge on Malta.

The summit gets underway this afternoon with an opening ceremony in front of Auberge de Castille, where a new monument to commemorate the meeting will be unveiled.

Leaders will then transfer to the Mediterranean Conference Centre where the talks will be held.

Summit talks will continue tomorrow, when the European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker is also expected to sign in the creation of the trust fund.

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