The Malta Independent 23 July 2019, Tuesday

Italy says Malta to take migrants saved by military vessel off Libyan coast

Saturday, 11 May 2019, 07:01 Last update: about 3 months ago

Italian Prime Minister Antonio Conte said that Malta will be taking some migrants who were saved by an Italian military vessel and taken to Sicily, Italian media report.

The 36 migrants were rescued by the Italian navy off the coast of Libya on Thursday.

The Italian government was split on what to do with the migrants, saved in Libyan waters, with Home Minister Matteo Salvini saying that the government needed to discuss such situations internally.

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“It cannot be that one minister closes the ports and someone else allows migrants to disembark,” he is reported to have said.

But he ultimately conceded to the disembarkation in the military port of Augusta in Sicily, saying that the migrants were rescued by a military vessel, not an NGO ship.

The Italian military said the rescue operation took place because the migrants were in danger and had no life-jackets.

Conte thanked Malta, Luxembourg, Germany and France who accepted to take in some of the migrants.

The Maltese government has as yet to pronounce itself on the matter. No official statement has been released.

 

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