While the government did well not to allow other countries to bully Malta on migration, vulnerable persons, unaccompanied children and infants stranded on board are not pawns and need to be given humanitarian aid and shelter now, Opposition Leader Adrian Delia said.
49 migrants are currently stranded on two NGO rescue vessels – the Sea Watch 3 and the Professor Albrecht Penck, operated by Sea Watch and Sea Eye respectively. There are 12 women and children aboard the Sea Watch 3 and a woman and two children on the other vessel.
All square behind @MaltaGov in protecting Malta’s national interest. Bullying tactics from bigger countries are unacceptable. But vulnerable persons, unaccompanied children & infants stranded on board are not pawns. They need humanitarian aid & shelter now.
— Adrian Delia (@adriandeliapn) January 7, 2019
In comments to The Malta Independent earlier Monday, a spokesperson for the PN said: “Malta’s national interest must be protected in the best manner according to international law and thus Malta cannot allow itself to be bullied around by other countries.
At the same time we must not stand back from our moral duty to help people in humanitarian distress always in observance of European and international rules,” a spokesperson for the PN told The Malta Independent.
Irregular immigration is a national priority that needs help from a European level and therefore Prime Minister Joseph Muscat is duty bound to persuade as he had pledged other Prime Ministers within his political group that a mandatory burden sharing system between European Union countries needs to be implemented, especially in these exceptional circumstances.”
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