Lifeline gets OK to enter Maltese waters, not to dock

NGO migrant-rescue ship at centre of international wrangle

(ANSA) - Rome, June 27 - The Lifeline migrant-rescue ship has been given permission to enter Maltese waters to get shelter because of bad weather conditions, the NGO that runs it said via Twitter on Wednesday. Maltese Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia confirmed this, but added that the ship, which is at the centre of an international wrangle, had not been given the green light to dock. Earlier on Wednesday the NGO said it had not yet received permission to dock despite Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte saying on Tuesday that Malta had agreed to allow it to land there, while Italy and other EU countries would receive quotas of the migrants on board. The spokesman for the NGO, Axel Steier, told ANSA that German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer had stopped Germany from taking part in the agreement to take in a share of the 233 migrants onboard.
    The NGO ship has been stranded for days in the Mediterranean after picking up the migrants in distress off the Libyan coast. The Italian government had threatened to impound the Lifeline if it came to Italy, saying the rescue was illegal. Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has spearheaded the tough stance on migrants of the new League/5-Star Movement (M5S) government that saw another NGO-run migrant-rescue ship, the Aquarius, have to travel to Valencia after it was denied permission to dock in an Italian port.