Two Italian fishing vessels arrested in Libya, will return home

© AFP 2018 / Abdullah DomaЛивия. Archival photoTwo Italian fishing vessels arrested in Libya, will return home© 2018 AFP / Abdullah Doma

Two small fishing vessels from Sicily, which on Tuesday evening was arrested by units of the Libyan Navy in the Mediterranean sea, received permission from the authorities of this African country to return home, said the night on Friday, Prime Minister of Italy, Giuseppe Conte.

«I just received confirmation that two motor fishing vessels «Matteo Mazzarino» and «Aphrodite of Sand», which was seized by the Libyan military units were given permission to return to Italy. Our citizens can finally come home. We never left alone and was constantly working to unblock the situation,» — said in a special statement, the head of the government of Italy, which was made available to RIA Novosti.

About the arrest of «Matteo Mazzarino» and «Aphrodite of Sand» reported on Wednesday, the mayor of the Sicilian town of Mazara del Vallo, it port of which is assigned both vessels, Nicola Cristaldi. His statement was circulated by all the leading media in Italy. According to the mayor, the incident happened about 30 nautical miles off the Libyan coast, and during the arrest of the Libyans opened fire on the Italian ships. After the shelling of the Libyan Navy ordered the captains to bring their ships to Libya, on Board of which there were a total of 13 people.

Moreover, the representatives of the Libyan authorities claimed that «Matteo Mazzarino» and «Aphrodite of Sand» were fishing in the territorial waters of Libya. Cristaldi said in this connection that his countrymen were in the water, which «illegally and unilaterally, was announced by Libya’s own». The Italian authorities did not officially comment on the situation, however, has taken steps for the speedy release of their fellow citizens. Similar cases relating to the seizure of fishing vessels of Italy near the coast of Libya, have happened in the past.