Migrant ship carrying more than 900 people docks in Sicily

Matteo Salvini in the senate in Rome yesterday

Italy's far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini had suggested that a planned meeting between the leaders of the two countries should be cancelled if France did not issue an "official apology".

France, she added, had also taken the second-biggest share of migrants relocated from Greece and Italy.

More than 700,000 migrants have landed on Italian shores since 2013, and Mr Salvini has repeatedly said that Italy can not continue to cope with the burden alone.

Earlier this week, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe expressed France's readiness to help Spain which accepted to receive the stranded migrants following Italy and Malta position.

Macron's comments sparked a fierce response from Rome, which called them "unacceptable" and summoned France's ambassador Wednesday.

SOS Mediterranee said men who were still on the deck of the Aquarius exposed to the elements were dizzy and vomiting and were taken inside the ship to be treated for seasickness.

The rescue ship, run by French charity SOS Mediterranee, has since transferred hundreds of the migrants to two Italian vessels, and the convoy is sailing across the Mediterranean to the Spanish port of Valencia.

Shikhar Dhawan hits a century
Meanwhile, the opening pair of Dhawan and Murali Vijay provided a great start to India as the home side scored 158/0 before lunch.

The Trenton rescued 40 migrants off the coast of Libya on Tuesday and was still waiting for instructions on where it could dock on Thursday, the US Navy said.

Sophie Beau said Wednesday in a news conference in Marseille, France, "it's a relief for everyone, our teams and of course above all for the survivors to know that they are finally allowed to head to a safe port in Europe".

The Maltese authorities, in turn, said the issue was beyond their jurisdiction, and only made a decision to send food to the ship rather than allowing the boat to make port.

The ship was originally set to dock in Italy, but Italy's newly formed government turned it away.

SOS Mediterranee, the aid group that operates the Aquarius, said Thursday the Italian coast guard boat leading the convoy chose to skirt Sardinia's east coast after high waves caused exhausted migrants aboard to be seasick.

It would also represent a complete reversal of the open-doors migrant policy she adopted in 2015, which saw more than 1 million migrants enter Germany and is seen as having fuelled a sharp rise in support for the rightwing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party and caused deep rifts within her conservative bloc. Kurz said Europe needed an "axis of the willing in the fight against illegal migration".

Interior minister Matteo Salvini said France had taken in only a fraction of the 9,816 migrants it pledged to welcome under a 2015 European Union relocation plan to relieve the burden on countries such as Italy and Greece, often the first point of entry.

Related news:

Hot News