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More Roma deported after French-Romanian minister meeting

media French police inspect an illegal Roma camp in Aix-en-Provence Reuters

France was set Thursday to deport hundreds more Roma as two Romanian ministers met French leaders in Paris to discuss President Nicolas Sarkozy's crackdown on travelling people.

The government said 283 Roma would be deported Thursday to Romania from Paris and Lyon airports, despite international condemnation.

The deportations come after Sarkozy, citing concerns about crime, began a high-profile crackdown this month on travelling people that saw police rounding up foreign Roma and dismantling illegal campsites.

Immigration Minister Eric Besson and Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux Wednesday met in Paris with Romania's Secretary of State in charge of Roma, Valentin Mocanu, and Public Security Minister Dan Valentin Fatuloiu. Afterwards they said that both countries would cooperate more closely on the issue.

A joint statement underlined "the will of the Romanian and French governments to better manage bilateral migratory flows, and to support the reinforcement of integration policies for disadvantaged populations".

The two Romanian ministers also met France's European affairs minister Pierre Lellouche in Paris early Thursday.

The European Union's top justice official Viviane Reding expressed concern on Wednesday over France's expulsion of Roma and said her office was reviewing whether the crackdown complied with EU law.

Besson and Lellouche are set to visit Bucharest on 9-10 September.


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