Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini has banned another rescue ship carrying forty migrants from entering Italian waters.
The Alan Kurdi is run by German charity Sea-Eye and is heading towards Lampedusa. It is currently travelling towards the Italian island and will arrive in the afternoon of August 1.
This rescue mission comes shortly after more than one-hundred migrants were allowed to disembark from a different boat in Sicily. But they were only able to do so after a new deal was reached with the European Union to distribute those on board between five EU nations.
The agreement was reached with Germany, France, Portugal, Luxembourg and Ireland. The number of migrants each country will take is yet to be decided.
Euronews correspondent Giorgia Orlandi explains Matteo Salvini’s strategy in dealing with migrants when entering Italian waters.
Sea-Eye spokesperson Carlotta Weibl said migrant rescue boats had to “respond immediately to situations, as soon as there is an emergency at sea.”
“Political calculations should not play any role whatsoever,” she added. The closest port is on the Italian island of Lampedusa, Weibl said, and it was critical that migrants all be allowed to dock there “according to international law,” so that they could receive future treatment.
Italy called an end to its latest standoff with the EU over uncontrolled African immigration on Wednesday, saying it would allow an Italian coastguard ship to disembark 116 asylum seekers in southern Italy in coming hours.
There could be criminal consequences if a ship docks in their ports. Authorities arrested migrant rescue ship captain Carola Rackete in July, after she docked in Lampedusa without prior permission.