Ship with 900 migrants on board docks in Sicily

Migrant were transferred to ships heading to Spain yesterday after Italy's snub

Migrant were transferred to ships heading to Spain yesterday after Italy's snub

The migrants aboard the Aquarius, run by French NGO SOS Mediterranee, were stuck on the overloaded ship as Italy and Malta bickered over who should take them. It is expected to arrive there late on Saturday.

Italy's controversial new interior minister has hit back at criticism of his migrants policy by the French government after he refused to allow 629 people on a charity ship to come ashore in Sicily.

"French police officers are not upholding global standards", said Chiara Romagno from Oxfam Italy.

In a speech in the western French town of Mouchamps, he insisted that France was "working hand in hand with Italy" to handle migration.

"If an official apology doesn't arrive, Prime Minister Conte would be right not to go to France", Salvini told reporters.

"These provisions and guarantees are time and again violated, as French officers put children immediately onto a regional train to Ventimiglia", the report said.

A government source said Conte still did not see the right "conditions" for a Friday meeting with Macron.

The European Parliament's president on Wednesday said the contentious issue was threatening "the survival" of the 28-nation bloc.

The countries' two economy ministers also spoke by telephone, French finance ministry official said, and agreed to reschedule their cancelled meeting.

The EU is deeply divided over asylum policy. "The recognition of this fact is vitally important if we wish to give a concrete and dignified response to this humanitarian challenge", he said.

12 burning questions about the Trump-Kim Summit, answered
Interested in North Korea? All of the concessions KCNA claims Trump made are also things has said publicly it wants. Still, others might say let's wait until there's an actual peace deal before we start doling out the accolades.

"We believe an axis of the willing is needed to fight illegal migration", he said.

European Union leaders in December set an end-June deadline for an overhaul of rules to create a permanent mechanism to deal with migrants.

"I fear a major tragedy if states start refusing to accept rescued migrants", its director general William Lacy Swing said. Grivaux said Macron criticized what he called Italy's cynicism and irresponsibility in turning away the ship, stuck off Italy's shores with hundreds of migrants onboard.

In televised remarks from Valencia, where Calvo was coordinating preparations for the arrival, the deputy prime minister said that authorities will examine case by case if the migrants qualify for asylum according to the country's regulations.

Speaking to the Senate Wednesday, Salvini accused France of only receiving 640 of the 9,816 migrants it had promised to take from Italy. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll saying it was "fully aware of the burden that the migration pressure is placing on Italy" and that it was committed to cooperating with Rome on immigration.

France sought to take a more conciliatory tone on Wednesday.

Several Central European countries refuse to accept any of the refugees now housed in Italy and Greece, whose migrant camps are overcrowded.

According to reports, the Italian Coast Guard brought supplies to the migrants, and two vessels are reportedly guiding the ship to Spain.

'We need to work on reform of the Dublin Agreement, ' Conte stressed ahead of his Paris visit.

SOS Mediterranee, the aid group that operates the Aquarius, said Thursday the Italian coast guard boat leading the convoy made a decision to skirt Sardinia's east coast after high waves caused exhausted migrants aboard to be seasick.