‘Malta to Take Migrants Saved by Military Vessel Off Libyan Coast’ Says Italian PM Giuseppe Conte

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 11-May-2019

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe 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, May 9.

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.

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

Read Also: Libya Rescues More than 200 Europe-bound Migrants Off Coast

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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