Italy threatens to pull out of EU migrant rescue missions

Italy will pull out of the European Union’s search and rescue mission in the Mediterranean unless other EU countries agree to allow rescued migrants to land at their ports rather than just Italian ones.

Matteo Salvini, the interior minister, said Rome was “assessing” whether to continue with the anti-human trafficking Sophia Mission after a meeting of EU defence ministers in Vienna, Austria.

Sophia currently lands all rescued migrants in Italian ports but Italy’s coalition government has demanded more support from other EU countries after bearing the brunt of the 2015 migration crisis. After a day of talks no agreement was reached on changing the port of landing rules in Operation Sophia.


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