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The Italian foreign ministry summoned France’s ambassador on Saturday, after uniformed French customs officers crossed the border to confront a man suspected of carrying drugs.

France insisted the presence of its personnel at an alpine railway station just inside Italy was acceptable.

However, the French ambassador, Christian Masset, was summoned over what Rome called “a serious act considered outside the scope of cooperation between states sharing a border”.

The foreign ministry added that the neighbouring countries would address the issue further at a meeting in Turin on 16 April.

The dispute began late on Friday when the French officials turned up at a train station in the Italian alpine village of Bardonecchia and told a man to provide a urine sample. The Rainbow4Africa NGO, which has for months occupied part of the train station to help migrants headed for France, filed a complaint about the treatement of the man, who is from Nigeria.

Italian officials reacted with outrage, prompting an official explanatory statement from the French embassy.

Gerald Darmanin, the French minister charged with overseeing customs, signed the statement which explained how French officials came to be present when the Paris-bound train arrived from Milan.

“These uniformed agents identified as French customs officials suspected one passenger, a Nigerian national resident in Italy, of having drugs on his person. Read More …

 

 

The dispute began late on Friday when the French officials turned up at a train station in the Italian alpine village of Bardonecchia and told a man to provide a urine sample. The Rainbow4Africa NGO, which has for months occupied part of the train station to help migrants headed for France, filed a complaint about the treatement of the man, who is from Nigeria. Italian officials reacted with outrage, prompting an official explanatory statement from the French embassy. Gerald Darmanin, the French minister charged with overseeing customs, signed the statement which explained how French officials came to be present when the Paris-bound train arrived from Milan.