ROME (AP) — Italy’s interior minister says he won’t let 140 rescued migrants off an Italian coast guard ship until Europe agrees to take them.
Many of those who were aboard the coast guard vessel Friday had been aided the previous evening by a fishing boat from Sicily, whose crew offered water and food and contacted the coast guard.
The Italian news agency ANSA quoted Minister Matteo Salvini as saying no disembarkation port will be assigned until other European countries volunteer to take them.
Salvini demands that other European Union nations share the costs and logistics of caring for the migrants, who are often rescued at sea from unseaworthy boats launched by Libyan-based human traffickers.
Many rescued in the central Mediterranean are economic migrants from Africa or Asia ineligible for asylum.