Migrants stranded in Italian ship awaiting European deal | News -

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The Italian coastguard ship Grigority docked in the southern port city of Augusta, but Italy is waiting for an agreement with the European Union before more than 130 migrants stranded on board are allowed to leave for three days, the government said on Sunday (July 28).

Some 140 migrants boarded two boats from Libya before being rescued by Italian Coast Guard boats on Thursday night, the day when more than 110 others were killed or lost after their boat sank off Libyan shores.

Six migrants were evacuated to Lampedusa because of their health. On Saturday evening, a pregnant woman joined them in the seventh month, accompanied by her two children and her partner.

Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salveni reiterated that the rest would be allowed to be taken to Italian ports only with a plan to distribute them in other EU member states.

It seems that the aim of this was to test the announcement by French President Emmanuel Macaron on Monday to reach an agreement between 14 European countries to implement a "solidarity mechanism," but Salvini was quick to criticize Macron's indication that migrants should first be anchored in Italy.

Pope calls for action to avoid new "tragedies" of immigrants

In a related context, Pope Francis called on Sunday for the international community to move "quickly and decisively" to avoid new tragedies of migrants, after the drowning accident that left more than 110 people dead on Thursday off Libya.

"I have received the pain of the recent tragic drowning in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea, where dozens of migrants have lost their lives, including women and children," the Pope said after the evangelization prayer in Saint Peter's Square.

"I renew my call for the international community to act quickly and decisively to prevent the recurrence of such tragedies and to ensure the safety and dignity of all." He then called thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square despite the rain and wind, to moments of silence to pray for the victims and their relatives.

Libyan relief agencies said on Friday they had recovered the bodies of 62 migrants after their boat sank Thursday off the five, 120 kilometers west of Tripoli.


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