Thursday 23 May 2019

Malta to allow migrant rescue ship to dock

Deteriorating weather conditions have added to complications on board the vessel.

Weather conditions are exacerbating the situation aboard the vessel (AP)
Weather conditions are exacerbating the situation aboard the vessel (AP)

By Colleen Barry and Frank Jordans

The prime minister of Malta has said a humanitarian rescue ship will be allowed to dock there, and that the more than 200 migrants on board would be distributed among eight EU states.

Joseph Muscat said ship operated by German group Lifeline Mission is expected to arrive on Wednesday evening.

The ship picked up the migrants off the Libyan coast six days ago but has been waiting at sea for safe haven since then.

Malta’s PM Joseph Muscat (AP)

Mr Muscat said that the ship would be impounded and that upon arrival, the migrants would be vetted.

Asylum would be given to those eligible while others will be returned to their country of origin.

He said authorities would investigate the legality of the ship’s registration and its behaviour at sea, including the fact it appears to have turned off its transponder.

The eight EU countries involving in helping the migrants are France, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Malta.

Press Association

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