Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement to the Italian news agency ANSA on 2 August on the increasing number of arrivals of migrants from North Africa in Italy:
Coronavirus is having an impact on migration routes in the Mediterranean. In particular, Italy has been surprised by a surge in the number of migrants from Tunisia in recent weeks. We must not leave Italy to cope with this situation alone. We made this mistake in the past and cannot afford to repeat it in the future.
It is vitally important that we also cooperate with the countries of origin. We must therefore undertake common efforts as the European Union vis‑à‑vis Tunisia to ensure that, also during the COVID‑19 pandemic, people have better future prospects other than risking the dangerous trip across the Mediterranean. We will work towards this aim during Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union.