Italy PM says countries have offered help to end migrant boat stand-off

Reuters , Tuesday 29 Jan 2019

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Tuesday some countries had come forward with offers to help end the stand-off over a rescue boat moored off Sicily with 47 migrants on board.

The Sea Watch 3, run by a German humanitarian group, rescued the migrants from a rubber boat off the Libyan coast more than a week ago but Italy, which has closed its ports to charity ships, has refused to allow them ashore to request asylum.

“I want to thank the friendly countries that have in the last few hours said they are willing to find a shared solution,” Conte told reporters during a visit to Cyprus. He did not say which countries were involved.

Similar stand-offs in the past have ended with several EU countries offering to each take in a share of migrants stranded on rescue boats.

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