Published: Mon, June 11, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Aquarius standoff: As Malta and Italy squabble, migrants pray on stranded ship

Aquarius standoff: As Malta and Italy squabble, migrants pray on stranded ship

Writing on his Facebook page, Salvini said: "Malta takes in nobody". "This could compromise all the work and cooperation between us over the past few years".

In a statement late Sunday after speaking with his Italian counterpart, Muscat refused to let the ship dock in a Maltese port, but said Malta will conduct emergency medical evacuations if necessary.

Italy's new interior minister Matteo Salvini had threatened to close access to Italian ports for migrant rescue ships if Malta refused to take the migrants on board.

Leader of the anti-migrant League party Mr Salvini, also deputy prime minister, tweeted yesterday: "Starting today, Italy, too, begins to say NO to the trafficking of human beings, NO to the business of clandestine immigration".

SOS Mediterranean spokeswoman Mathilde Auvillain told The Associated Press the ship was "heading north following instructions received after the rescues and transfers" Saturday night. Salvini campaigned on an anti-immigrant platform that also included a vow to expel hundreds of thousands of migrants already in Italy, even though experts doubt such mass deportations are feasible or financially viable.

As of Monday morning, the Aquarius was circling in worldwide waters off Malta after the Italian maritime coordination centre in Rome ordered the vessel to stay put (see map).

Under global law, people rescued at sea should be brought to the nearest and safest port for assistance.

He said Malta should accept the Aquarius, but the government in Valletta said those rescued fall under Italy's jurisdiction as they were picked up the migrants in Libyan waters.

Vladimir Putin dismisses G7 criticism of Russia as ‘babbling’
Trump pulled out of the 2015 Obama-era accord last month, despite objections from European allies and other nations. Putin also welcomed Trump's call to bring Moscow back into the G-7 group of leading industrialised nations.

Trump Seeks End to Pre-existing Condition Mandate
The same report estimates 391,000 Utahns have pre-existing conditions that could affect their coverage eligibility. Crusading against the ACA has been a priority of President Donald Trump since his campaign for the White House.

The Dark History of the 'Tranquil' Island Hosting the Trump-Kim Summit
He said that those talks "in fact are moving quite rapidly and will come to a logical conclusion more quickly than anticipated". Authorities have beefed up security around the hotels where Trump and Kim (Saint Regis) will be staying in central Singapore .

The migrants were saved by SOS Mediterranee on Saturday and are stuck aboard the French NGO's ship Aquarius, which is now between Malta and Sicily waiting for a secure port for her to dock.

The aid group said in a statement it had taken "good note" of Salvini's stance, as reported earlier by Italian media.

For years the European Union has largely ignored Italy's rising fury at being left to deal with the migration crisis (even when it came from more politically acceptable figures like Matteo Renzi) but with Mr Salvini in charge, that may no longer be possible.

Despite the claim by Mayor Orlando that the government stands in opposition to worldwide law by closing the ports to migrant smuggling operations, a distinguished expert on global maritime law Admiral Paolo Caffio has given his verdict, stating that not only is it legal, but there is also precedent, reports Il Giornale.

One boat found Sunday was carrying four bodies along with 49 migrants.

To the east, Libya's coast guard intercepted 152 migrants, including women and children, from two boats stopped in the Mediterranean off the coast of the western Zuwara district Saturday. The lawlessness in Libya has made it a popular place for migrants to try to depart for Europe.

The charity say they have enough supplies to feed the migrants at least for another day.

Like this: