The Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte speaking during a session in the Italian Parliament said the case of ‘Diciotti’ should have been dealt with by the Maltese Government and not the Italian Government.
He maintained that while the intervention of the Italian Authorities had saved a number of lives, as from today onward, Italy will not be disposed to indiscriminately host immigrants.
The Malta Government has replied to this and in a statement commented that Conte was imprecise in his facts.
Once more, the Malta Government stated that in the case of the ship ‘Diciotti’ it was the Italian Government that had to shoulder full responsibility in line with international obligations and EU Laws.
Malta once more outlined the details of the incident and said that according to international and EU Regulations, when the ship ‘Diciotti’ boarded the immigrants, this became the responsibility of the Italian Government. Malta’s Government said the Italian Government decided that Lampedusa was not a safe port for their disembarkation and had to decide on another port in its own territory.
Notwithstanding what Conte had said in Parliament, Malta had offered its assistance but the offer had been turned down. Although it proved difficult for Malta to intercept the boat, it was still observed from close quarters.
The statement ended by saying that while international cooperation should be ongoing, the making of false declarations should stop.