Sabato, 22 Settembre 2018
ROME

Aquarius route changed - SOS Mediterranee (4)

English
© ANSA

Rome, June 14 - The Aquarius has had to change route
due to bad weather, SOS Mediterranee, the NGO that operates the
migrant-rescue ship, said on Thursday.
Italian government sources said, however, that the ship
Aquarius will dock in Spain as planned, ruling out the
hypothesis that it would land in Italy.
"#Dattilo, the leading Italian coastguard ship of our convoy,
decided to change route," SOS Mediterranee said via Twitter.
"#Aquarius will proceed along the eastern coast of #Sardinia
to seek shelter from bad weather, otherwise unbearable for the
rescued people, already exhausted, shocked and seasick".
The Aquarius was on its way to Valencia with an escort of two
Italian ships after the Italian government denied it access to
its ports at the weekend in a case that has caused political
tension in Europe.
Most of the over 600 migrants who are on board the Aquarius
have been transferred to the escort vessels.
European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs
Federica Mogherini said Thursday that she thinks the Aquarius
should be at sea as little as possible given adverse weather
conditions.
"The identification of the disembarkation port is a national
decision upon which the EU does not have competence," Mogherini
told a news conference when asked about the Aquarius case.
"But given the news about the sea conditions, there is a
clear indication (in international law) for every effort to
limit the time of the people aboard the ship".
Mogherini said the long-term solution was for EU member States
to display greater solidarity.
"There is a problem about the re-financing of the European
Fund for Africa," she said, adding that projects for Libya and
the countries of origin of many migrants and of transit depended
on this.
"It's a problem that I've raised several times with the
member States and which it is necessary to draw attention to
because, and here I comment on the Aquarius case too, the
priority at sea is to save lives, but the solution is on land.
"It's in Europe, with stronger, more effective solidarity
among States".

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