After the Italy dispute, a ship carrying 230 people docks in France at a port.
After spending several weeks at sea, the Ocean Viking ship was finally accepted at Toulon.
According to maritime authorities, a rescue ship carrying 230 people docked at Toulon in France amid a French-Italian conflict over who is responsible.
Ocean Viking, a French NGO, picked up the people near the Libyan coast and spent weeks searching for a port to take them.
The ship docked on Friday at 8:50 AM (07:50 GMT).
France has never allowed rescue vessels carrying people from the Mediterranean to land along its coast. This time, however, it did so because Italy had denied access.
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin stated on Thursday that the people of Italy were under the responsibility of Italy and that the French move was “exceptional”, which would not be a guide for future actions.
He stated that Italy’s refusal of accepting the people was “incomprehensible” as well as the “severe implications” for Italy’s bilateral relations both with France and the EU.
He stated that France had fulfilled its “humanitarian obligation”
The Ocean Viking ship initially wanted to access Italy’s coast. This is the closest point to which the people were picked up. However, it was quickly becoming apparent that health and sanitation conditions were rapidly deteriorating.
Italy rejected the offer, stating that other countries must bear more of the responsibility for the thousands of migrants trying to reach Europe every year from North Africa.
Meryl Scotty was able to board the ship with a French doctor before it docked.
She stated that the doctor would identify the most vulnerable members of each group and bring them on land first. Then, women, children, families, and other family members would follow.
To await the processing of asylum requests, the rescued persons, which include more than 50 children, will be moved into an international waiting area.
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