The Spanish Open Arms vessel has been granted permission to drop off 265 illegals at an Italian port after picking them up off the Libyan coast, the first migrant transport NGO landing in Italy of 2021.
The NGO ship picked up the migrants during the first hours of the new year and initially made its way to Malta but was denied port access by the Maltese government.
On Sunday, the NGO confirmed that Italy had granted it port access and that it would be landing the 265 individuals at the Sicilian port town of Porto Empedocle, Italian newspaper Il Giornale reports.
“It will be a difficult night on deck. The weather has deteriorated. It is raining and cold. After Malta’s refusal, Italy assigned Porto Empedocle as a port of landing. We are happy for the people on board. A thought goes out to those who will face the storm tonight on