A humanitarian ship containing 64 rescued migrants has been stuck in the Mediterranean sea after Italy’s Matteo Salvini stopped it from entering the country, saying it could ‘go to Hamburg.’
The Sea Eye’s vessel contains migrants hauled from the sea on Wednesday.
Malta also denied entry to the ship as it sailed close to the Italian island of Lampedusa on Thursday.
The refusal from the Italian and Maltese governments has set the stage for another Mediterranean stand-off which will last unless the European governments agree to grant asylum to the migrants.
Sea Eye’s spokeswoman said sailing to Germany was ‘out of the question’ after Italian Interior Minister Salvini said that the ship could go there.
Carlotta Weibl said ‘it’s a journey of 3-4 weeks. We don’t have food and water.’
Weibl added: ‘Malta says we can’t enter their waters and we are unlikely to get permission from Italy.’
The asylum-seekers were rescued on Wednesday by Sea-Eye’s ship, the Alan Kurdi, near Libya.
They were found when the Alan Kurdi ship was searching for two missing boats which contained 50 and 40 migrants respectively.
‘The chances are low that they are alive,’ Weibl said of the two boats.
Several stand-offs involving humanitarian rescue ships trying to reach Malta and Italy have taken place in the recent months, all of which were resolved after other EU countries took some of the asylum-seekers.
Many of them, however, are still living in migrant centers in Lampedusa and Malta.
The Alan Kurdi ship is named after the 3-year-old Kurdish boy who drowned in the Mediterranean sea in 2015 after his family escaped war-torn Syria.
A heart-wrenching photo of his dead body made people worldwide, especially in Europe, develop sympathy for the migrants.
Those notions, however, no longer exist.
Weibl said that Alan Kurdi is the only migrant ship operating in the Mediterranean at the moment because several countries have stopped aid ships from operating.
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