European migration officials meet after deaths in Channel

CALAIS, France (AP) – Top European migration officials held an emergency meeting Sunday in the French port of Calais to find ways to better fight migrant smuggling.

The meeting comes after 27 people died trying to cross the English Channel to Britain in an overcrowded inflatable boat.

U.K. officials will be notably absent from the gathering because Wednesday’s sinking prompted a new political crisis between Britain and France. The neighbors accuse each other of not doing enough to deter people from taking the treacherous journey.

Ministers from Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France were gathering with officials from the European Union, the EU border agency and the Europol police agency. They are seeking to break the crime networks that are smuggling migrants.