March 2, 2021

Malta will take care of the disembarkation of the 54 migrants rescued by an Italian NGO

The Government of Malta reported that a ship of the Armed Forces will be in charge of transferring to an island port the 54 migrants rescued on Thursday by the Mediterranean NGO and to which Italy denied access to territorial waters.

In a note, they state that this decision has been made after contacting the Italian Government and agreeing that another 55 migrants who are now in Malta will be relocated in Italy.

"This agreement does not affect the situation in which this operation was carried out and in which Malta has no legal responsibility, but is part of an initiative that promotes the European spirit of cooperation and goodwill between Malta and Italy" , adds the Maltese Government's statement.

The sailboat Alex of the Italian NGO Mediterranea on Thursday saved 54 migrants in international waters off Libya, including four women in advanced pregnancy and eight children.

The same NGO reported that Malta this morning had given its authorization to the landing, but reported on Twitter that "due to the characteristics of this ship and the psychophysical conditions of the people on board were not able to face the journey to Malta"

They gave, nevertheless, their total availability for Maltese or Italian Coast Guard boats to transfer migrants to the mainland.

The Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini, explained today that Malta has given the availability to the arrival of the ship, and therefore a safe harbor has been indicated and that "in case of disobedience it would be a case of an unprecedented gravity".

During the day yesterday, the boat of the NGO Open Arms, another humanitarian ship that are in the Central Mediterranean, assisted the 54 rescued migrants.

The founder of Open Arms, Oscar Camps, who is on board, said on Twitter that they had proposed to take the rescued migrants to Malta, but that the authorities of this country rejected the offer "for political reasons."

This time, unlike the case of Sea Watch, which after 16 days of waiting ended with the arrest and subsequent release of the captain for having forced entry into the port, seems to have resolved quickly.

. (tagsToTranslate) Malta (t) disembarkation (t) migrants (t) rescued (t) NGO

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