Italian government has declared a state of emergency on the migrant problem last week due to increase in arrivals / Photo: Reuters

Italy and Tunisia have agreed to counter the flow of irregular migrants through the Mediterranean.

Rome and Tunis consider the fight against human smuggling to be fundamental, said Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani during a joint press conference with his visiting Tunisian counterpart Nabil Ammar, according to the Italian public broadcaster RAI.

He said there are already cooperation agreements between the two countries, and these will be seriously implemented to address the growing problem.

Tajani, also said that Italy favours more aid to Tunisia for to carry out reforms and that it would help the north African country to secure funds from IMF.

He pointed out that it is not the business of others to decide who would govern Tunisia.

On his part, Tunisian foreign minister Nabil Ammar said: “Tunisia is willing to strengthen cooperation with all partners to combat human trafficking and to protect migrants. We are ready to do everything possible.”

He, however, stressed that medium- and long-term solutions were economically crucial.

“We need to rehabilitate our economy and are counting on Italy, an EU member,” Ammar said.

Italy declared a six-month state of emergency on Tuesday to help it deal with a surge in the number of migrants arriving in the country via the Mediterranean Sea.

In recent weeks, Italy has seen a significant rise in the number of migrants and refugees arriving on its southern shores from North Africa, with over 3,000 coming in the last three days alone.

TRT Afrika and agencies