June 11, 2018 / 10:37 AM / in 12 days

Migrants on Mediterranean ship in distress, need safe harbor: UNHCR

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations refugee agency called on Monday for authorities to allow 629 migrants, including more than 100 children, on a rescue ship stranded off Malta and Italy to disembark urgently.

The rescue ship, Aquarius, was drifting in international waters on Monday after Italy’s new interior minister stopped it docking in an Italian port.

“People are in distress, are running out of provisions and need help quickly. Broader issues such as who has responsibility and how these responsibilities can best be shared between states should be looked at later,” Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR’s special envoy for the central Mediterranean said in a statement issued in Geneva.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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