Italy Vows to Block Foreign Navy Ships on Migrant Rescue Missions From Ports

Europe

On Thursday, Italy will make a proposal to its EU partners to have migrants rescued at sea sent to other countries. That is according to Italy’s interior minister.

Italy’s right-wing Interior Minister Matteo Salvini wants EU sea missions to take rescued migrants away from Italian shores. He vowed to bring up the issue on Thursday at a meeting of European ministers in Austria.

“After having stopped the NGO ships, I’ll ask European partners on Thursday in Innsbruck to block from Italian ports the arrival of ships currently on international missions in the Mediterranean,” Salvini said in a statement.

The minister also said that he wants to block Frontex ships with migrants from docking at Italian ports.

The EU’s border control force, Frontex, operates a search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean Sea using air and sea assistance from a number of countries. 

In a Facebook post on Sunday, Salvini wrote, “With our government the music has changed and will change.”

Prior to that the minister said, “Before receiving even one asylum seeker from another European country, we want to see a precise commitment — giving the timetable, costs, means, men and resources — on how the EU plans to help us defend our external borders.”

Last week, Italy’s government announced that it will provide 10 motor launches and two ships, as well as equipment and other material to the Libyan Coast Guard, in order to enhance its…

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