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profishingrods.com January 24, 2019


Malta announces deal on 49 stranded migrants

11 January 2019, 05:48 | Devin Moran

Migrants stand on the deck of the migrant search and rescue ship Sea Watch 3 Credit REUTERS Darrin Zammit Lupi

Migrants stand on the deck of the migrant search and rescue ship Sea Watch 3

One man formed the shape of a heart with his hands as he stepped off a Maltese military boat.

Malta allowed the two ships to shelter in port from a storm on Thursday, but it refused to let the migrants disembark.

Around a dozen countries had said they were prepared to take the 49 people off the boats but Malta insisted on a deal for all 298.

The 49 migrants, including a baby and several children, were rescued while attempting the risky Mediterranean crossing from North Africa to Europe.

The deal also involves the resettlement of more than 100 other migrants already in Malta, he announced. He said that Germany still aims to reach "a long-term and sustainable mechanism".

Germany agreed to take 60 migrants from Malta, some from the stranded rescue ships and some Maltese boats rescued in December.

A child is transferred to a coastguard vessel to be taken to Malta.

Salvini told reporters during a visit to Poland Wednesday he "absolutely" opposes new migrant arrivals in Italy, clashing with his own premier on the issue.

But Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, of the right-wing League party, said the decision by the European Union countries was "facilitating the work of smugglers and NGOs".




Priority will be given to vulnerable people including women and children, according to EU Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos, who welcomed Italy's cooperation but said that a system was needed to avoid such emergency solutions in future.

"We welcome this show of solidarity and understanding that Malta is going beyond what is required of us", said Mr Muscat.

European Union rules oblige countries where migrants first land to process any asylum claims, placing a heavy burden on Mediterranean states like Italy, Greece, Spain and Malta.

The deal ends an impasse that kept the migrants stuck on the rescue boats while European governments negotiated where they could disembark.

This was followed on 29 December with another 17 asylum seekers rescued by the "Sea-Eye" humanitarian ship.

Malta has announced that it will allow two ships, stranded for weeks with 49 migrants and refugees on board, to dock.

Instead, the arrangement called for the 49 migrants transferred to military vessels and then brought to the island nation.

The vast majority of the total of nearly 300 migrants will be shared among Germany, France, Portugal, Ireland, Romania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Italy and Malta, Muscat said.



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