Salvini refuses NGO migrant rescue vessel from Malta
The new Italian Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini has accused Malta of not taking its share in the reception of wrecked migrants in the Mediterranean.
Published: June 11, 2018, 10:36 am
The standoff continues between the island of Malta and the new Italian government around the reception and rescue of migrants, with Salvini threatening to prevent NGOs from accessing ports in Italy if Malta refuses to take charge of the 692 migrants rescued this weekend.
According to the newspaper La Repubblica, Salvini on Sunday sent a letter to the Maltese authorities in which he warns that he would be “forced to close the Italian ports,” if Malta refuses to help.
According to the daily Corriere Della Sera, the letter describes Valletta in Malta as “the safest port” to accommodate this the NGO vessel.
Late on Sunday night, SOS Mediterannée said it had received an order from the Italians to stop the Aquarius 35 nautical miles from Sicily and 27 from Malta.
The Aquarius is a former German coast-guard and fishery protection vessel operated since February 2016 by SOS Méditerranée and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) as a rescue vessel for migrants and refugees making the Mediterranean crossing in makeshift craft from Libya to Italy as part of fueling the European migrant crisis. The ship has a capacity to rescue 200-500 migrants at a time.
“Malta can not say no to any request for assistance,” Salvini explained on Friday, when the Maltese government was already accused of refusing to provide assistance to the Seefuchs rescue ship. It had found himself in difficulty in bad weather with 119 migrants on board. The ship was finally allowed to drop anchor in the Sicilian port of Pozzallo.
On the same day, another NGO crew said it had previously sought help from Malta’s coastguard, but that country had refused.
While denying the existence of a letter from Salvini, the Maltese spokesman said on Sunday that “Malta was not the coordinating or competent authority” for these rescues.
The Maltese spokesman said that the rescue in question had taken place in the Libyan search and rescue area and depended on the Rome relief coordination center, which meant that Malta had no obligation to take charge of these events.
All rights reserved. You have permission to quote freely from the articles provided that the source (www.freewestmedia.com) is given. Photos may not be used without our consent.
Keep your language polite. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in, for example, Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.
If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violations of any law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.
If your comments are subject to preview by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.
We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.
Police have charged 31 Muslim men with offences including rape and trafficking after an investigation into sexual offences against children in the Huddersfield area.
StockholmThe leader of the Swedish Democrats, Jimmy Åkesson has again called for a referendum on Sweden's exit from the EU.
Swedish police reported multiple gangs of masked youths on a rampage across five major Swedish towns, burning cars in what seems like a coordinated action.
The diplomatic spat between Italy and Britain over 141 migrants currently on board a Gibraltar-flagged vessel has taken a new turn after Italy demanded that Britain take in the migrants.
The HagueA city councillor in The Hague and member of Geert Wilders' Freedom Party, took her own life on Wednesday after posting a video on Facebook describing her gang-rape by Muslims.
The British Government recently appointed its first Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief. But the Special Envoy has done very little for Christians.
MadridSpain's socialist government, led by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, has promised free healthcare to migrants and has pledged to investigate every asylum claim individually.
WashingtonA US bill was introduced in the Senate on Thursday, widely described as a new set of "crushing" sanctions against Russia. The proposed legislation includes a State Department assessment aimed at designating Russia as a "state sponsor of terrorism".
LyonA banner displayed during a pro-migrant march in Lyon resulted in the convocation to the police station of three participants including a prominent conservative politician of Marine Le Pen's party, Muriel Coativy.
ParisTwo men and one woman were indicted on Friday, July 27, for "terrorist criminal conspiracy" as part of the investigation into the activities of the French AFO group. They are believed to have wanted to fight "against the Islamist danger".