Rescue ship blocked off Italy in fresh migrant row

Interior Minister Matteo Salvini had on Monday reiterated that Italy’s ports were “closed” to new migrant arrivals, insisting his hardline approach to asylum seekers since last summer has effectively stopped departures from crisis-hit Libya.

He said the Italian vessel Mare Jonio had not carried out a rescue operation but instead “aided illegal immigration”.

“They can be cared for, nourished, clothed, whatever you like, but they won’t get permission from me to step foot in Italy.”

Salvini issued a directive on Monday saying ships…
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