Ocean Viking migrants to land in Malta, all will be sent to six states
, Ocean Viking migrants to land in Malta, all will be sent to six states

The 356 migrants who have been stranded on an NGO vessel for 13 days will be landing in Malta and re-distributed to six other European Union states, the Maltese government said.

Following discussions with the European Commission and a number of member states, namely France and Germany, Malta has agreed to be part of the solution in the Ocean Viking stalemate, without prejudice to its legal position, the statement said.


The said vessel has 356 persons on board, all intercepted and rescued in various operations, none of which took place within the Maltese area of competence or under the direction of the Maltese authorities.

Malta will transfer the said persons on Armed Forces of Malta vessels outside territorial waters, and will take them onshore.  All the said migrants will be relocated to other member states: France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Romania.  None of the said migrants will remain in Malta.

In the coming days, more persons which had been disembarked in Malta under previous ad hoc arrangements will be transferred to the member states in fulfilment of their pledges.

Malta said it is committed to being a proactive member of the European Union, being part of pragmatic solutions that do not put undue pressure on one single member state.

The Ocean Viking carrying 356 people, mostly Africans, rescued in the Mediterranean off Libya was closing in on two weeks at sea without being assigned a safe port to offload the traumatized passengers.

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