Italy won’t allow boat with 450 migrants; says ‘go to Malta’

By: AP | Rome |
Updated: July 14, 2018 10:39:08 am

Rescuers picked hundreds of migrants across Mediterranean. (AP File photo)

Italy and Malta squabbled over who was responsible for rescuing 450 migrants crowded aboard a fishing boat in the Mediterranean as the vessel, apparently not seeking help, headed toward a tiny island off Sicily.

Italian Transport Minister DaniloToninelli had tweeted that Malta was obliged under maritime law to rescue the migrants since they were in the Maltese search-and-rescue area earlier yesterday and also provide the fishing boat with safe harbour.

But Malta retorted that when Rome’s maritime rescue coordination center informed it about the vessel, the boat was already far closer to the tiny Sicilian island of Lampedusa than it was to Maltese shores. The Maltese interior ministry also said that persons aboard the vessel…

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