The Latest: Albanian ship on NATO run takes Syrians at sea

The Latest on Europe's response to mass migration (all times local):

5:00 p.m.

Albania's Defense Ministry says a warship deployed to the Aegean Sea as part of NATO's maritime force has picked up a group of 41 Syrians who were trying to cross from Turkey to Greece.

A ministry statement issued Sunday said the crew of the patrol vessel Butrinti saw the Syrians, including 10 children and seven women, in a speedboat that was traveling from Turkey's Cesme coastline to the nearby Greek island of Chios.

The group was transferred to a ship of the European Union's border control force, Frontex, which directs a search-and-rescue operation in the Mediterranean with air and sea resources contributed from a variety of countries.

Albania, a NATO member since 2009, is taking part for the first time in the western military alliance's maritime missions.


3:30 p.m.

Italy's hard-line interior minister says he wants to block foreign navy ships participating in European migrant rescue missions from docking in Italian ports.

Matteo Salvini, who has already closed Italian ports to aid groups that rescue migrants, says in a Facebook post Sunday that he will bring the Italian position to an upcoming meeting of EU interior ministers in Innsbruck, Austria.

The EU's border control force, Frontex, operates a search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean using air and sea contributions from a variety of countries. On Saturday, the Irish navy ship Samuel Beckett arrived in the Sicilian port of Messina with 106 migrants.

Salvini wants to block future arrivals, forcing other European countries to take them in. He wrote: "With our government the music has changed and will change."