Ashton receives bid for help with migrant crisis from Italy
Italian request to EU comes as 225 people rescued near Sicily30 October, 14:09
Ashton received a letter from Italy's Foreign Minister Emma Bonino and Defence Minister Mario Mauro asking her office to "explore the possibility of an intervention, in the context of the common EU security and defense".
Authorities are "now considering all possible options" for dealing with the issue of illegal immigration, but any interventions involving security of the EU must be approved unanimously by member States, the spokesman added.
Reports of the request came shortly after the latest rescue of 225 people aboard a migrant boat in the Mediterranean south of Sicily.
A patrol boat assisted by a merchant ship helped rescue the migrants from their inflatable boat which ran into trouble in the Sicilian Channel early Wednesday morning.