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The Latest: Italy summons Swiss diplomat over closed borders

Associated Press logo Associated Press 4/04/2017

PARIS — The Latest on Europe's response to the large number of migrants and refugees trying to reach the continent (all times local):

8:45 p.m.

Italy has summoned the Swiss ambassador for urgent talks after Switzerland closed three minor border crossings at night in an apparent crime-fighting measure.

During the Tuesday meeting, Italian authorities said the border closings violated Europe's free-circulation norms.

A foreign ministry statement quoted Swiss Ambassador Giancarlo Kessler as saying the measure was a temporary experiment and would be reviewed in light of improved border security collaboration.

Local Italian mayors had protested the closures as penalizing Italians who cross the border for work or other legitimate reasons.

Italy's northern border has long been a flashpoint with neighboring Switzerland, France and Austria, which are eager to prevent newly arrived migrants from moving on to their countries.

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9:35 a.m.

French maritime authorities have rescued six Iranian migrants whose fishing boat was sinking in the English Channel as they sought to reach Britain.

The overnight rescue effort took more than two hours because extremely thick fog complicated efforts to find the boat, the CROSS maritime authority said in a statement Tuesday.

It said the migrants were found not far from the Calais coast, suffering from mild hypothermia, and handed over to border police.

Migrants fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa continue to converge on Calais in hopes of sneaking across to Britain, despite the closure of a vast migrant camp there last year.

The maritime authority warned that clandestine travel by boat is "extremely risky and dangerous" because of strong currents, cold water, fog and heavy traffic.

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