Migrants remain at sea as Italy-Malta standoff intensifies
June 11, 2018 -- Malta is accusing Italy of violating international norms by instructing a migrant rescue ship with 629 people aboard to stay at sea while a diplomatic standoff plays out over where it can dock.
The Aquarius ship of the humanitarian group SOS Mediterranee remains on standby in the Mediterranean Sea with its 629 passengers, including 123 unaccompanied minors and seven pregnant women.
The migrants had been rescued during a series of operations Saturday by Italian maritime ships, cargo vessels and the Aquarius itself. All passengers were offloaded to the Aquarius to be taken to land.
Spain’s new prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, said on Monday that his country would welcome the migrants and that he had given permission for the ship to dock in Valencia.