Migrants unable to disembark in Italy amid EU dispute

Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has threatened to send the passengers back to Libya.

Migrants stand on the deck of the Italian Coast Guard ship Diciotti (Salvatore Cavalli/AP)
Migrants stand on the deck of the Italian Coast Guard ship Diciotti (Salvatore Cavalli/AP)

The Italian coast guard ship Diciotti has arrived in the Sicilian city of Catania with 177 migrants awaiting word on which countries will take them following another standoff between Malta and Italy.

Though the ship made port late on Monday, the Italian government is not allowing the migrants to disembark pending a decision by the European Union on where they will go.

The migrants, rescued last week, include 28 unaccompanied minors.

Migrants on the Italian Coast Guard ship Diciotti (Salvatore Cavalli/AP)

Malta has declined to take them, saying the smugglers’ boat they were in was not in distress as it passed Maltese waters and that, in any case, the migrants preferred to continue to Italy.

Italy has asked the EU to work out a solution and follows a threat by Interior Minister Matteo Salvini to send them back to Libya.

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