The Armed Forces of Malta were “constrained” to save 118 migrants who were on a sinking boat in Malta’s search and rescue zone, the Home Affairs Ministry said.
The group included nine women, one of whom is pregnant, as well as five children.
In a video message, Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri said the Libyan authorities intercepted up to 7,000 migrants in the first seven months of 2020. The Maltese government is committed to continue working with the Libyan authorities to prevent more migrant arrivals and to prevent deaths in the Mediterranean.
One of the government’s priorities, he said, is to strengthen the repatriation process. Efforts are being made to send back those who “do not deserve” to remain in Malta.
The government will also keep working on the relocation of migrants to other EU Member States. In fact, some 450 migrants have been relocated so far. A “considerable” amount of migrants will be relocated in the coming weeks, now that the airport has reopened, Camilleri said.