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Stranded migrants to leave rescue ship

2019-01-30 19:03
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said 47 migrants who have been blocked at sea off Sicily for 11 days on a rescue ship will be allowed to come ashore on Wednesday (January 30), ending the latest migrant standoff. "In a few hours, they will begin to disembark," Conte told reporters in Milan. The migrants have been on the vessel since they were rescued off the Libyan coast. Italy's populist government, which took office last year, has closed its ports to humanitarian vessels in a bid to force European Union partners to take a share of those rescued in the Mediterranean. The Dutch-flagged Sea-Watch 3, which is run by a German humanitarian group, has been moored off the coast of Sicily as it waits for a safe port. Some 13 minors are among those on board and the long wait has taken its toll, Sea Watch said on Wednesday. Five European countries agreed to accept some of the migrants, Conte said on Tuesday, naming Germany, France, Portugal, Malta and Romania. On Wednesday, he said Luxembourg and Italy would also welcome some of them