March 20, 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.

Other News

Trending Now

Raptors sign former Golden State Warriors guard Patrick McCaw
McCaw averaged 4.0 points in 128 regular-season appearances with the Warriors in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. The Raptors announced Thursday that the club had signed McCaw, although terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul to sit out Sydney ODI
The CoA has taken on board the recommendation of the BCCI's legal team that Pandya and Rahul be suspended pending an inquiry. The legal team has suggested that the CoA, as the authorised head of the BCCI now , could substitute for the Apex Council.

GM workers stage another sit-in at Oshawa plant
He said the union should instead work with the company on timing and transition plans for the close to 3,000 jobs impacted. GM has said keeping Oshawa open would increase their costs and make them less competitive.

Meghan Markle leaning onto Doria Ragland after feud with Kate Middleton?
But more important than anything , he thinks his wedding will be the flawless place and time for Meghan and their father, Thomas Markle to reunite.

IMDb Freedive is Amazon's new ad-supported streaming service
IMDb claims it has 250 million unique visitors a month looking up information about more than five million movies and shows. The content joins IMDb's existing short-form original videos like The IMDb Show and No Small Parts .

Bernard Tomic wins first clash with Nick Kyrgios Kooyong Classic
In the other men's match of the day, Croatia's Marin Cilic , who is returning from injury, defeated South Africa's Kevin Anderson 6-3, 4-6, [15-13].

West Ham United turn down bid from China for Marko Arnautovic
West Ham reportedly have Bournemouth's Callum Wilson on their radar and he could become a priority if they lose Marko Arnautovic . West Ham, though, are determined to keep the influential 29-year-old and are adamant he will not be allowed to leave.

Bus driver rescues toddler wandering on United States overpass in freezing conditions
Irena Ivic-Drobnjak is being praised for her immediate action which may have saved the child's life. NOTE: Police first said the baby fas a boy but later clarified that the child is actually a girl .

Steelers president says all options on table with WR Antonio Brown
That brought about plenty of speculation that Brown had played his final game in Pittsburgh's black and yellow. Pittsburgh is reportedly expected to consider trade offers for Brown ahead of the free-agency period.

Samsung Galaxy S10 hits Geekbench benchmarks
That meant fans had absolutely no incentive to upgrade, and Samsung's high-end phone sales suffered tremendously as a result. But as it turns out, the company is skipping that design plan altogether and instead opting for a hole-punch design.