Rescue ship adrift as Italy and Malta clash over migrant admissions

Rome - With hundreds of migrants on board, the rescue ship Aquarius was waiting for a port to dock at on Monday as Italy and Malta clashed over the issue.

The crew is yet to receive word of a safe place to dock, a spokeswoman for SOS Mediterranee, the humanitarian organization that owns the ship, said.
On Sunday, Italy demanded that Malta grant entry to the Aquarius, which is carrying 629 migrants.
Malta responded by saying it was not willing to take them in and insisted in a statement that it was acting in "full conformity with its international obligations."
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, the head of Italy's new populist government, slammed Valetta's refusal, writing on Facebook that it showed the unwillingness of Malta "and with that also Europe to step up and deal with the emergency."
As Italy bears the brunt of Europe's long-running refugee crisis, Malta has taken in only a few of the people rescued in the Mediterranean - of which there were over a thousand in just the past few days.


Monday, June 11th 2018

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