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Boat with Arab Migrants Reaches Italy’s Lampedusa

Boat with Arab Migrants Reaches Italy’s Lampedusa

Friday, 24 May, 2019 - 11:45
An Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) patrol boat carrying 87 rescued migrants arrives at the AFM's base at Haywharf in Valletta's Marsamxett Harbour, Malta March 6, 2019. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
Asharq Al-Awsat
A boat carrying 58 migrants, including Arabs, has reached the southern Italian island of Lampedusa, as flows continue despite the Italian government's strong efforts to discourage immigration.

The Italian ANSA news agency said the 57 men and one woman who arrived early Friday were from Morocco, Algeria, Syria, Libya, Gambia and Bangladesh.

They had departed from Libya.

Just over 1,100 migrants have reached Italy this year, according to the United Nations refugee agency, compared with more than 12,600 reaching Greece.

Overall, Afghans and Moroccans top the list of migrants reaching southern Europe according to UNHCR.

Although Italian territory, Lampedusa is closer to north Africa than to the rest of Italy.

Last week, far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini issued a snap directive banning the German charity Sea Watch vessel from entering Italian territorial waters, saying "our ports are and remain closed.”

But families with children saved in the Mediterranean by Sea Watch were given permission to land in Italy last Friday.

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