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Pope Francis urges end to migrant boat deadlock

Pope Francis urges end to migrant boat deadlock

Francis said he was directing a "fervent appeal" to the leaders to "show concrete solidarity toward these persons".

They were only "seeking a safe port where they can disembark".

Pope Francis urged European leaders on Sunday to stop bickering over the fate of 49 migrants stuck aboard two humanitarian rescue ships on the Mediterranean and to give them a safe port of call.

This is not the first time the Argentinian pope, himself descended from Italian immigrants, has appealed to European leaders to open their borders. One of those tiny recreational boats was carrying four children.

The Sea-Watch 3 is now carrying 32 asylum seekers, while the Sea-Eye is carrying a further 17.

"In Italy, there are no more arrivals".

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And he rammed the message home on Twitter, saying "Italy's ports are and will stay closed".

Some on board Sea Watch are being treated for dehydration caused by seasickness.

Malta has also refused migrants permission to leave their vessels but has allowed two boats to enter its waters for fresh supplies.

The plight of child migrants The Office of the Commissioner for Children is following the plight of the migrants aboard the two rescue vessels with deep concern.

Asked whether Malta was acting in a humanitarian way by refusing to take in the migrants overseas the Sea-Watch and Professor Albrecht Penck rescue vessels, which are now sheltering from bad weather within Maltese territorial waters, the Deputy Prime Minister insisted that the Prime Minister had been very clear in his stance on Sunday.

But the bloc's long-running deadlock over sharing responsibility for migrants has yet to be resolved.