Italy and France have long been close allies and fellow-founding European Union members.

But relations have taken a turn for the worse since Italy's populist parties came to power in June.

Much of the dispute has been about immigration.

France has criticised Italy for not allowing rescue boats carrying refugees and migrants to dock along its Mediterranean ports.

On Monday, it summoned Italy's ambassador after Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio accused France of creating poverty in Africa and forcing mass migration to Europe.

So how much of this is politics ahead of EU elections in May?

Presenter - Richelle Carey

Guests -

Adama Gaye - Journalist, author and West Africa analyst

Jacques Reland - Head of European Research at the Global Policy Institute

Matteo Villa - Research Fellow with the Europe and Migration programmes at the Italian Institute for International Political Studies

Source: Al Jazeera News