Italy allocated safe ports for three migrant rescue ships on Friday, in the context of unfavorable weather conditions, the government in Rome justified on Saturday, assuring that it is not a change of position of the executive regarding the humanitarian NGOs operating in The Mediterranean, informs AFP, quoted by Agerpres.
Hundreds of migrants have been rescued in recent days. PHOTO Profimedia
Geo Barents, the ship of the organization Medics sans Frontieres (MSF, Medecins sans Frontieres), would dock on Sunday morning in the port of Salerno (south), to disembark there 248 migrants saved in several operations in the last few days.
The German ship Louise-Michel arrived on Friday on the Italian island of Lampedusa with 33 migrants on board.
For its part, Humanity 1, the German-flagged ship of the NGO SOS Humanity, must arrive in Bari (east) in the next hours, after rescuing 261 people.
“Regarding immigration, no change of position,” a source from the Italian Ministry of the Interior claimed on Saturday. The ministry “gave its consent for the entry of the ships (into Italian waters) because bad weather is approaching and the sailing conditions would quickly endanger the people on board,” added the source.
These are the first ships received by Italy after its refusal, in November, to disembark hundreds of migrants rescued and taken care of by several humanitarian ships, including the Geo Barents.
Under pressure from the EU, the government led by far-right Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni had accepted the disembarkation of the most vulnerable rescued migrants, continuing to refuse entry to its ports for the Ocean Viking, the ship of the NGO SOS Mediterranee, which was finally received in France.
Italy, continued the source from the Ministry of the Interior, continues to denounce the “provocative and risky actions” of the NGOs, which “favor the entry into Italy of some economic migrants, who have no right to enter and stay in Italy”.
Italy has seen a strong increase in sea arrivals this year, according to Interior Ministry figures, with 97,236 people arriving on its shores since January 1, 2022, compared to 63,000 and 33,000 in the same period in 2021 and 2020. , years of health crisis.
The vast majority of these migrants are rescued by the Italian coast guard, but Rome has strongly criticized rescue operations by ships chartered by humanitarian NGOs.