June 12, 2018 / 12:42 PM / 9 months ago

Italy acting with "cynicism" towards migrant ship - French govt spokesman

PARIS, June 12 (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron denounced Italy’s decision to refuse to accept more than 600 migrants on board the ship Aquarius, saying it had an obligation under international law.

Briefing journalists on discussions at a cabinet meeting, government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said Macron had made clear that under maritime law, it is the responsibility of the nearest country to receive those in distress.

“There is a degree of cynicism and irresponsibility in the Italian government’s behaviour with regards to his dramatic humanitarian situation,” Griveaux quoted Macron as saying.

Macron welcomed Spain’s decision to take in the ship and called for “European solidarity” towards the Spanish government. (Reporting by Marine Pennetier; writing by Luke Baker; editing by John Irish)

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