Rome allows 27 rescued migrant minors from open arms boat to step onto Italy’s soil

ROME, Aug 18: Italian authorities have permitted 27 rescued migrant minors who were on board Spain’s Open Arms charity boat, which Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini’s has blocked from docking at the Lampedusa port for over two weeks, to step onto Italian soil, local media reported.
The Open Arms rescue ship, with a total of 134 migrants rescued from the Mediterranean Sea on board, has been anchored off the coast of Italy for 17 days, waiting to receive permission to dock in Lampedusa. Salvini, who is also the leader of the right-wing Lega party, has been at heads with fellow ministers over the issue and continues to push to ban the migrants from stepping on Italian soil, despite six European countries agreeing to take them.
The minors were taken to the port on Saturday, the Rainews24 broadcaster reported.
A total of 107 people remain on the ship.
On Thursday, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told Salvini in an open letter that France, Germany, Romania, Portugal, Spain and Luxembourg were prepared to accept the rescued migrants.
On Wednesday, an Italian court defied Salvini’s ban on migrant rescue boats and allowed Open Arms to enter the national waters. At the time, Salvini said he would challenge the ruling to suspend his decree and threatened to fine charities rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean up to $1.1 million and the loss of the ship.