Germany working on 2-way migrant deal with Italy

Doctors visit migrants stranded on Italian boat as Salvini defies UN

Doctors visit migrants stranded on Italian boat as Salvini defies UN

Dozens of people have been blocked at the Sicilian port of Catania on the Diciotti vessel since Monday night because the Italian government is refusing to allow them to disembark without commitments from the European Union to take some of them in.

In a Facebook post he said: "If you want to question me or maybe arrest me because I defend the borders and security of my country, I am proud of it and waiting for it". The Maltese government has said that the Armed Forces of Malta had made contact with the migrants who insisted that they were not in need of assistance.

Non-EU Albania will take 20, while Italian Catholic bishops said they would care for about 100.

A top-level European Union meeting on Friday aimed at finding long-term solutions to the issue of migrant rescues failed to find a solution, prompting Italy to threaten to cut off funding to the EU.

The migrants are mostly from Eritrea, a country frequently described as the "North Korea of Africa" since its human rights record is so poor. Many of his supporters blame migrants for crime.

No deal was struck about the Diciotti migrants at the talks, as a source at the European Commission said "this was not a meeting where decisions were taken".

According to Mr Salvini, they would be taken in "by bishops who are opening their doors, their hearts and their wallets".

Fifty others of the 190 people rescued at sea on August 16 by the Italian coast guard were previously allowed off the ship, including all the minors and ailing adults.

Seven women and six men were earlier let off the vessel at the orders of a doctor after nearly a week of being stuck in the port.

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So far only small groups have been allowed in, including unaccompanied children and the sick, two of whom are said to have tuberculosis.

Authorities had said the women recounted how they had been raped while in Libya for months, awaiting the opportunity to leave in migrant smugglers' boats. Although many have since left for other countries, some remain.

U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, speaking in Geneva, said it's time to end a "race to the bottom on who can take the least responsibility for people rescued at sea". "Matteo Salvini, born in Milan on 9/3/1973, resident in Milan with Italian citizenship", he said.

Italy's Foreign Ministry called Albania's offer "a signal of great solidarity and friendship that Italy greatly appreciates".

He has repeatedly taken to social media to laugh off reports he was under investigation by a local prosecutor over his refusal to accept the ship.

Italy's Home Affairs minister Matteo Salvini will be formerly investigated over their actions during the latest migration standoff, prosecutors announced on Saturday evening. Prosecutor Luigi Patronaggio on Saturday reportedly questioned several interior ministry officials at the Italian capital's prosecutors' office.

Any prosecution of Salvini would be handled by a special tribunal for government ministers, and Salvini's fellow senators would have to vote on whether to lift his Parliamentary immunity if the case progresses.

Doctors have said numerous migrants on the ship have scabies but "more than a health emergency, it would be better to speak of a psychological emergency", Principato said.

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