Italy: France, Malta Offer to Take Quarter of 450 Migrants

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(From AP News)

taly said Saturday that Malta and France had agreed to take 100 of the 450 migrants who were rescued from a fishing boat in the Mediterranean, claiming victory in the latest standoff but demanding even greater European solidarity.

Premier Giuseppe Conte said that Malta and France had come forward in response to his request to all 27 other members of the European Union to share the burden of welcoming the migrants. . . .

The migrants had been aboard a large fishing boat when the Italian and Maltese coast guard control centers began squabbling Friday over who was responsible for taking them in.

Malta said it had fulfilled its obligations by monitoring the vessel to see if it needed help. Malta says the ship’s crew made clear they didn’t need help and were heading toward the Italian island of Lampedusa.

Italy insisted Malta should have opened its ports to the ship.

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