ROME, May 5 (AFP) - Italy's foreign minister cancelled a trip to Paris on Thursday (May 4) after a French minister criticised Rome's migration policy, in a fresh spat over the contentious issue between the two nations.

In a radio interview in Paris on Thursday, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni "is incapable of resolving the migration problems" faced by her country.

Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani slammed Darmanin's "unacceptable" remarks and cancelled a planned trip to Paris.

"This is not the spirit in which common European challenges should be faced", he said.

Paris later sought to ease the tensions, saying it hoped that Tajani's meeting with French counterpart Catherine Colonna scheduled for Thursday evening could be rescheduled "soon".

"I have spoken with my colleague Antonio Tajani on the telephone," Colonna wrote in Italian on Twitter.

"I told him the relationship between Italy and France is based on reciprocal respect," she wrote.

The French foreign ministry said that the government "wishes to work with Italy to meet the common challenge of rapidly rising migrant flows" and urged "calm dialogue".

But in a television interview Tajani said Darmanin's remarks were "a stab in the back" and he was still waiting for him to "apologise to the prime minister, the government, and Italy".

The centrist French government under President Emmanuel Macron has clashed repeatedly with Italian cabinets in recent years over migration.

The most recent spike in tensions came last November when Meloni, whose far-right Brothers of Italy party won September elections, refused to allow a charity ship carrying 230 migrants to dock in Italy.

The Ocean Viking ship was eventually allowed to dock in France, but Paris denounced Rome's "unacceptable" behaviour and suspended plans to receive 3,500 migrants from Italy.

At the time, Meloni denounced France's reaction as "aggressive" and "unjustified".

Relations have since improved, with Macron and Meloni meeting in Brussels in March for talks.

But migration remains a live issue for Meloni's government, the most right-wing in Rome since World War II, which took office in October vowing to stop boat landings.