BERLIN (AP) — The U.N. refugee agency is urging European countries to end a string of impasses over ships carrying rescued migrants and put together a Mediterranean regional arrangement that makes clear where such vessels can dock.
The Geneva-based agency welcomed Malta's decision Tuesday to allow the private Aquarius ship to dock, with the 141 migrants on board to be distributed among five fellow European Union nations.
But U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said in a statement Wednesday that "the situation should never have come to this in the first place."
He added that "it is wrong, dangerous and immoral to keep rescue ships wandering the Mediterranean while governments compete on who can take the least responsibility."
Italy's new government is refusing to allow any private rescue ships to dock.