France is not ready for now to let the Mediterranean rescue ship Aquarius dock and disembark dozens of migrants at the port of Marseille, the country’s finance minister has said, reports The Guardian.
“For the moment it’s no,” Bruno Le Maire said when asked on BFM TV if Paris was ready to respond positively to a request from charities for permission to dock with 58 people onboard in the southern French port.
Le Maire said ships were supposed to dock at the nearest port under European rules and Marseille was not the nearest.
“On matters of migration, the issue must be handled firmly and clearly, and European rules respected,” the minister said.
The Aquarius is the last private rescue ship operating in the area used for crossings from Libya to Europe. It has been at the centre of a row about Europe’s approach to migration since Italy refused to allow it to dock on its shores in June.