The Diciotti ship of the Italian Coast Guard, with 67 migrants on board rescued 4 days ago by the Vos Thalassa freighter, enters the Sicilian port of Trapani, southern Italy, Thursday, July 12, 2018. The top security officials of Germany, Italy and Austria are touting their hard line on migration issues, saying Europe needs to protect its exterior borders and crack down on human smuggling. (Igor Petyx/ANSA via AP)

The Latest: German official: 1951 refugee treaty applies now

July 15, 2018 - 9:29 am

BERLIN (AP) — The Latest on migration into Europe (all times local):

3:10 p.m.

Germany's foreign minister says the world's failure to agree on taking in Jews fleeing Nazi persecution in 1938 resulted in a refugee treaty after World War II that countries are still bound by today.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas tweeted Sunday that the 1951 Geneva Refugee Convention "was the response to this failure and remains the binding measure of our humanity."

Maas offered the tweet against the backdrop of a debate over Europe's response to mass migration from Africa and the Mideast.

His comment came exactly 80 years after an international conference in Evian, France, ended without firm commitments from most of the 32 countries involved to accept more refugees.

Many Jews later killed in the Holocaust had tried to emigrate to countries such as the United States but were rejected.

According to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Nazi Germany gloated that other countries criticized its treatment of Jews but wouldn't accept them either.

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2 p.m.

Germany's interior ministry says an agreement has been reached for both the federal and Bavarian state police to patrol the border, checking for migrants entering the country.

In a statement Sunday, the ministry said Bavarian police will be able to conduct checks along the country's southern border with Austria "at the request or with the consent of federal police."

Bavaria's conservative-led state government has been pressing for tighter border controls ahead of a regional election this fall in which the issue of migration is expected to play a prominent role. But questions had been raised about the legality of state police performing a task normally reserved for federal police.

The number of people crossing the German-Austrian border illegally has dropped sharply since a dramatic influx of migrants in 2015.

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1:25 p.m.

Germany says it will take 50 of the 450 migrants rescued from a fishing boat in the Mediterranean Sea that's been at the center of a squabble between Italy and Malta.

In a statement Sunday, the German government said "with a view to the ongoing talks about greater bilateral cooperation on asylum, Germany is prepared to take in 50 people in this case."

France and Malta have also agreed to take in about 100 migrants from the ship.

Italy put out a call for help to other European Union countries, saying it wants them to share the burden of taking in migrants coming across the Mediterranean.

According to EU figures, Germany saw almost 1 million asylum applications in 2016 and 2017; Italy came second with about 250,000.

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