Image: picture-alliance/dpa/Pavel D. Vitko/Sea Eye
Malta grants entry to boat with 40 migrants
August 3, 2019
A German-flagged NGO rescue ship carrying 40 migrants has been given the all-clear to dock in Malta. The vessel Alan Kurdi set sail for the Mediterranean island group after being turned away by Italian authorities.
Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced Saturday that 40 migrants aboard the NGO ship Alan Kurdi would be allowed to disembark in Malta, following a request from Germany.
"Malta will allow 40 migrants on German vessel Alan Kurdi to transfer to Armed Forces of Malta asset, enter port. German government and EU Commission arranged for all persons to be distributed amongst number of EU member states," Muscat wrote on Twitter.
He did not specify which countries would take the migrants in, but said they would not remain in Malta.
Italy's far-right deputy prime minister and interior minister, Matteo Salvini, has insisted that Italy cannot accept any more migrants. In recent months he has barred several rescue ships from docking until it has been made clear how the migrants will be redistributed among EU states. Italy's blockade has led to hundreds of rescued migrants heading to Malta instead.
Also on Saturday, two heavily pregnant women rescued off the Libyan coast by Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms were taken to safety by the Italian coast guard, spokesman Oscar Camps said on Twitter. One of the women had gone into labor.
The Proactiva ship is still searching for a port to take in a remaining 124 migrants after Salvini signed an order barring it from entering Italian waters.