Italy accepts 102 stranded migrants refused by Malta

After overnight negotiations, Salamis tanker heads to Sicily

Italy accepts 102 stranded migrants refused by Malta

Rome, August 7 - Italy has agreed to take in 102 migrants rescued by the Salamis tanker and refused entry by Malta, the Maltese authorities on Wednesday. The tanker is to dock in the Sicilian port city of Siracusa. Rome gave the green light to accept migrants, most from North Africa, following intense overnight diplomatic negotiations. The Libyan-registered Salamis picked them up close to the Libyan coast on Sunday and headed to Malta. But Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat refused to allow the migrants to land on the Mediterranean island, despite calls from the European Union for him to do so. Muscat thanked Italian Premier Enrico Letta for the "concrete commitment" it had shown over the case at a news conference. He said Letta had understood that the arrival of hundreds of migrants in recent weeks had overloaded Malta's migrant-reception facilities.

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