A ship of the Italian Coast Guard is approaching the Aquarius boat of the French NGO "SOS Mediterranee" while migrants are being transferred, on the Mediterranean Sea, on Tuesday, June 12, 2018. Italy sent two boats on Tuesday to help take 629 immigrants trapped on its shores on the one-day trip to Spain in what is predicted to be bad weather, after the new populist government denied them safe harbor in a dramatic attempt to force Europe to share the burden of the incessant arrivals. (Salvatore Cavalli / Associated Press)
by Associated Press June 13 at 3:28 a.m.
CATANIA, Sicily – The latest in the flow of immigrants to Europe (all local times):  9:25 am
Italy called the French ambbadador for consultations after the French president, Emmanuel Macron, criticize what he described as cynicism and irresponsibility of Italy when rejecting an immigrant rescue ship with more than 600 people on board.
A statement from the Foreign Ministry said the ambbadador had been summoned on Wednesday morning "after the statements in Paris yesterday on Aquarius."
Macron's office said on Tuesday that France does not want to "set a precedent" that would allow some European countries to violate international laws and rely on other EU member states to receive immigrants.
Spain agreed to accept the Aquarium in its port of Valencia.
An Italian coastguard vessel docked in Sicily with more than 900 immigrants on board, evidence that Italy's new anti-immigrant government continues to host some asylum seekers but forces the rest of Europe to accept others.
The crew of the Diciotti began disembarking pbadengers at the Port of Catania early on Wednesday. At the same time, the ship Aquarius from the SOS Mediterranee relief group continued its one-day trip to western Spain, where it was diverted after Italy and Malta rejected it.
The fate of the two ships evidences the change of policy on the part of Italy's new populist government: it refuses entry to rescue ships of European flag aid groups, but allows Italian maritime ships in its ports.
The change has increased tensions in Europe, with France accusing Italy of "cynical" and irresponsible behavior. 19659017] Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material can not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed.