Pope Urges Europe To Help Stranded Migrants - World News

Cheryl Sanders
January 11, 2019

"The rescue boats will then be told to leave Maltese waters", Muscat told reporters.

The deal also meets Malta's demand for other countries to take numerous 249 migrants Maltese military vessels rescued in late December.

Germany expects to take in 60 migrants who were already in Malta or are about to arrive there under an agreement to defuse the latest standoff over rescue ships in the Mediterranean Sea.

PM Joseph Muscat named them as Germany, France, Portugal, Ireland, Romania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Italy.

Malta said another 78 migrants would be allowed to stay in Malta, and 44 Bangladeshi migrants would be sent back to their country.

The Netherlands is one of eight countries which will take in some of the 32 migrants who have been living on a boat since they were rescued from off the coast of Libya almost three weeks ago.

Under the same deal, many of some 249 migrants Malta said its military boats picked up last month also will be transferred to other countries.

"We want to send out a strong signal that this issue must be shared because it is a Europe-wide problem".

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.

Sea Watch International welcomed that "the European Union chose to release their 49 hostages".

In the meantime, those aboard the Sea Watch and Sea Eye - who include a baby and several children - were celebrating the end of 19 days at sea.

"It is a testament to state failure; politics should never be played at the cost of people in need."
"We simply want everyone to go along with the worldwide laws".

The Maltese Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, according to information published here, specified that the people will be picked up by a military ship, from where they will be transshipped and redistributed to the eight European Union nations mentioned.

Italy's government has appeared divided, with anti-immigrant Interior Minister Matteo Salvini refusing to host a single migrant while Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte offered to take in a small portion as long as Malta let the ships dock.

"Caving to the pressures and threats of Europe and the non-governmental organisations is a sign of weakness that Italians don't deserve".

Some 113,482 migrants crossed the Mediterranean to reach Europe previous year, according to the United Nations refugee agency, which said 2,262 people lost their lives or went missing making the perilous journey.

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