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JUNE 05: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks during a press conference at Western Jet Foil in Dover, as he gives an update on the progress made in the six months since he introduced the Illegal Migration Bill under his plans to "stop the boats", on June 5, 2023 in Dover, England. Photo by Yui Mok - WPA Pool/Getty Images

(LifeSiteNews) — Italy and the United Kingdom over the weekend reached an agreement to bankroll the relocation of immigrants attempting to reach Europe. The move comes amid rising dissatisfaction with illegal immigration from African countries.

On Saturday, Italy’s new conservative Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak agreed to finance the repatriation of migrants currently in Tunisia amid an effort to reach European shores, Bloomberg reported.

The leaders made the decision during talks hosted in Rome over the weekend amid a meeting of Meloni’s political party, the Brothers of Italy.

Bloomberg noted that “[t]ens of thousands of migrants from other parts of Africa, including Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia and Chad, make their way to Tunisia” in a bid to make “a perilous sea crossing to Europe,” oftentimes making initial landfall on the Italian island of Lampedusa before spreading out into other parts of Europe.

In Sunak’s remarks, he warned that the enemies of Britain and Italy “will use migration as a weapon.”

READ: Tucker Carlson, Steve Bannon decry mass migration after recent attack in Ireland

“We simply must have control of our borders,” he said. “People must know that if they come to our countries illegally they will not get to stay.”

“If we do not tackle this problem, the numbers will only grow,” Sunak also said, according to NDTV. “It will overwhelm our countries and our capacity to help those who actually need our help the most.” 

“Making that deterrent credible will mean doing things differently, breaking from consensus,” he said. “And both Giorgia and I are prepared to do that.”

Sunak’s comments and the joint British and Italian agreement came as a five-year-old video of Meloni critiquing the “Islamization” of Europe was resurfaced on social media and nabbed international headlines.

“I think we need to discuss the issue of Islam in Europe,” Meloni said in the resurfaced video.

“I believe there is a problem of compatibility between Islamic culture and the values and rights of our civilization,” she said, arguing that there’s “no room for Sharia law in Italy” and that the “values of our civilization are different.”

“Sharia means lapidation [stoning] for adultery and the death penalty for apostasy and homosexuality,” she said. “I believe that these [problems] should be raised, which does not mean generalizing on Islam. It means raising the problem that there is a process of Islamization in Europe that is very distant from the values of our civilization.”

The five-year-old video has generated attention online and contributes to a growing discontent with mass migration.

In addition to Sunak and Meloni, leaders in Great Britain and Europe have begun raising the alarm with increasing urgency about the flood of illegal migrants – many of them from Middle Eastern and/or Islamic nations – arriving in traditionally Christian nations and altering their cultural identities by importing divergent religious and cultural values.

The preservation of national identity, as well the safety of citizens amid violent attacks perpetrated by Islamic migrants, has become a major talking point for populist politicians throughout Europe.

Spain’s right-wing Vox party leader Santiago Abascal told Tucker Carlson last month that his country is “the gateway to the Islamization of Europe given its geographic position,” adding that Spain has become “one of the main victims of mass immigration.”

He pointed to countries like France, Germany, and Sweden where, he said, “Islamization and social change have been brutal.” 

And Abascal, Sunak, and Meloni are not alone in calling to curb migration.

Hungarian President Viktor Orbán has notably decried the immigration crisis. In 2018, he argued the “refugees” were “Muslim invaders” whom Hungarians do not want in their country. Orbán has called for illegal immigration to be stopped before the migrants step foot on European soil.

In the Netherlands, the Dutch this year elected the media-dubbed “far-right” Geert Wilders, whose party calls for the deportation of Muslim illegal immigrants. Similarly, Slovakia recently elected Robert Fico, a populist leader who has staunchly opposed mass migration from Middle Eastern countries.

READ: Hungary’s Viktor Orbán slams EU for rejecting ‘Christian heritage,’ embracing LGBT ideology