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Sources: Italy bans the entry of a ship to rescue migrants into its waters

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has signed an order banning an immigrant rescue ship from German charity Mission Lifeline from entering Italian waters, Interior Ministry sources said on Tuesday.

Over the past year, several ships have been trying to rescue migrants to enter Italian shores, but Salvini, leader of the far-right League, has firmly rejected it. Salvini continues to reject him despite the coalition government, which includes his party in a political crisis.

Axel Steyr, head of Mission Lifeline, said the Eleanor was carrying 101 rescued refugees in the Mediterranean, adding that authorities in Italy and Malta had refused to let them off.

Steyer said the passengers were not in danger at the moment, but the captain of the ship would go to either country in an emergency.

Malta last week allowed 356 migrants to be taken off the rescue vessel Ocean Viking after six EU member states agreed to receive them.

Last week, five European Union countries agreed to take dozens of migrants stranded for weeks at sea aboard the rescue ship Open Arms because the Italian government would not allow it to do so in accordance with its closed port policy.

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