April 19, 2015 / 4:56 PM / 3 years ago

Renzi says Italy can't tackle Mediterranean migrant crisis alone

ROME (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Sunday called for a concerted international effort to block people-traffickers after the reported deaths of up to 700 migrants in the latest sinking in the Mediterranean.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi looks on during a news conference at Chigi Palace in Rome April 19, 2015. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

“We are asking not to be left alone,” Renzi told reporters after an impromptu cabinet meeting, adding that he wanted an emergency meeting of European Union leaders to be held this week to discuss the mounting migrant crisis.

Renzi underlined that search and rescue missions alone were not sufficient to save lives. He said the problem could only be solved by preventing the criminal activity of people trafficking and stopping migrant boats from leaving Libya.

Renzi said it was still not possible to estimate what the total number of deaths in the latest tragedy would be. He said he could only confirm that 24 dead bodies had been found and 28 people rescued.

Reporting By Gavin Jones

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