Rome, June 26 (IANS/AKI) German charity boat Lifeline will be allowed to dock in Malta with 230 migrants aboard – after five days of limbo in international waters – and some will be transferred to Italy, Premier Giuseppe Conte said on Tuesday after talking to his Maltese counterpart Joseph Muscat.
Meanwhile, a cargo ship entered the Sicilian port of Pozzallo earlier on Tuesday with 108 rescued migrants on board, ending a four-day stand-off between European officials after Italy’s hardline Interior Minister Matteo Salvini blocked the vessel – as in the case of the Lifeline.
“I have just spoken to Muscat: the Lifeline vessel will dock in Malta.
“Italy will play its part and will take in some of the migrants aboard the Lifeline, in the hope that other European countries will do the same,” Conte said in a statement.
In the other ship’s case, he migrants were taken from the ‘Maersk’ cargo vessel to a processing centre in Pozzallo, where five other migrants from the ship including a pregnant woman and a small girl were transferred from the ship on Saturday due to health problems.
Doctors said the condition of the other 108 migrants who landed in Pozzallo on Tuesday was good.
Pozzallo’s Mayor Roberto Ammatuna on Monday appealed to Salvini to allow the ‘Maersk’ to enter the port on humanitarian grounds.
Salvini, who has been in office less than a month, is taking a tough stance against rescue ships carrying migrants to Italian ports.