Boat with migrants goes to France after refusal of Italy | News

The migrant rescue ship Ocean Viking is heading to dock Thursday off the French coast, where it is expected to arrive after 19 days at sea and a ban on docking in Italy.


Italy rejects migrants through selective landing

The French government denounced on Tuesday night what it called the unacceptable behavior of the Italian authorities who refuse to allow the Ocean Viking ship to dock, which was off the coast of Sicily, with 234 migrants on board.

The Ocean Viking humanitarian ship is destined to be received in Italy in view of international maritime law, French government spokesman Olivier Véran had said on Wednesday.

The ship, which has not received a response from the Italian authorities to its requests for assistance, asked the French authorities on Tuesday for permission to disembark in a safe port.

According to the French Government, the attitude of the Italian authorities is “contrary to the law of the sea and the spirit of European solidarity” while they said they expect “something more from a country that is today the first beneficiary of the European solidarity mechanism”, added this source.

Earlier in the evening, the new far-right Italian prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, thanked France, which she said agreed to receive the Ocean Viking at one of its ports.

Meloni expressed himself in the following terms: “We want to say how much we appreciate France’s decision to assume its share of responsibility for the migratory emergency, which until now has fallen on the shoulders of Italy and some other Mediterranean countries, by opening their ports to the ship ‘Ocean Viking’”.

The NGO SOS Méditerranée had asked France to assign a safe port for the disembarkation of the 234 migrants, stranded on board the ship for 19 days: “We are in a total impasse in the face of Italy’s silence”, explained the director of SOS Mediterranean, Sophie Beau.