Italy and Malta faced international pressure on Monday to come to the
aid of a rescue ship carrying hundreds of migrants which is stranded
in the Mediterranean as the two countries refuse to allow them ashore.
A total of 629 people, including pregnant women and scores of
children,were saved by SOS Mediterranee on Saturday and are stuck
aboard the French charity ship, Aquarius, which is currently between
Malta and Sicily.
But Malta and Italy, where the new populist government has vowed a
tough new stance on immigration, have both refused to take in the
The UN called on the two nations to immediately allow the boat to
dock, describing the situation as an urgent humanitarian imperative
and suggesting that the hundreds on board are running out of
The EU and Germany have made similar pleas saying the priority of
Malta and Italy should be ensuring these people receive the care they
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