Netherlands says not obliged to take Sea Watch migrant

27 June, 18:00

    (ANSAmed) - BRUSSELS, JUNE 27 - The Netherlands said Thursday it was not obliged to take migrants from the Dutch-flagged German NGO run Sea Watch rescue ship which has been stopped from reaching the Italian island of Lampedusa.

    Replying to an assertion by Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, Dutch Migration Minister Ankie Broekers-Knol said "as the Dutch government has stated for some time, we understand Italy's concerns and we recognise its efforts in curbing uncontrolled migration towards the EU.

    "It is also well-known that the government shares the concerns regarding the actions of the Sea-Watch3" but while the Netherlands assumes responsibility for the ship flying a Dutch flag, "that does not mean that we will also take the migrants".

    The minister's spokesman added that a letter from Salvini had been received on Monday and "a reply will be prepared shortly.

    "We know Italy's perspective and the Italian assessment of the actions of the Sea-Watch3," he said.

    "Diplomatic channels will be used for our reply".


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