- Title: Migrants disembark in Sicily as Italy and EU end standoff on asylum seekers
- Date: 31st July 2019
- Summary: AUGUSTA, ITALY (JULY 31, 2019) (REUTERS) MIGRANTS DISEMBARKING FROM SHIP ITALIAN COASTGUARD OFFICERS WATCHING MIGRANTS DISEMBARKING FROM SHIP ITALIAN FLAG ON SHIRT OF COASTGUARD OFFICER MIGRANTS DISEMBARKING FROM SHIP ITALIAN COASTGUARD SHIP GREGORETTI MIGRANTS GETTING ON BUS BUSES LEAVING VARIOUS OF MIGRANTS ON BUS
- Embargoed: 14th August 2019 18:10
- Keywords: Migration Italy Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini sea rescue Mediterranean sea Libya Italian Coastguard vessel Gregoretti
- Location: AUGUSTA, ITALY
- City: AUGUSTA, ITALY
- Country: Italy
- Topics: Asylum/Immigration/Refugees,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001AQ4193B
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The European Union ended a standoff with Italy over African immigration on Wednesday (July 31), agreeing to take 116 asylum-seekers who were rescued at sea last week but denied permission to go ashore by the country's right-wing interior minister.
The migrants were finally allowed to disembark in the Sicilian port of Augusta on Wednesday afternoon.
The EU said that Germany, France, Portugal, Luxembourg and Ireland had agreed to take the asylum-seekers, meeting a condition set by Interior Minister Matteo Salvini for allowing the group to come ashore.
An additional group of those rescued by an Italian coastguard boat last week would be received in Italy with the support of the Catholic Church, the Interior Ministry said. Reports last week said there were 135 migrants on the vessel, but Italy had allowed minors and people in precarious health off the ship earlier this week.
Shutting Italian ports to charity rescue ships has become a frequent strategy in the past year to try to force the EU's hand over dealing with migrants.
Last August, Salvini prevented another national coastguard boat carrying 150 migrants from docking for five days until Albania, Ireland and Italy's Catholic Church agreed to take responsibility for them.
(Production: Antonio Parrinello, Antonio Denti)
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