LA VALETA, 24 Aug. (DPA / EP) –
Migrants rescued by the 'Ocean Viking' ship arrived in Malta on Friday night after Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced an agreement for landing, under which they will be relocated to six member states of the European Union.
The 356 people rescued by the crew of the Norwegian flag vessel were transported in the afternoon to a patrol boat of the Armed Forces of Malta and arrived ashore late in the morning.
Sitting on board the deck of the Armed Forces ship and wearing bright orange life jackets, men, women and children landed in Malta during the early morning to be examined and housed.
They will remain in Malta until they are transferred to France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal or Romania, according to the terms of the agreement announced by Muscat.
“After discussions with the European Commission and several member states, mainly France and Germany, Malta has agreed to be part of the solution of the deadlock of the 'Ocean Viking', which has 356 people on board, without prejudice to its legal position” Muscat wrote on his Twitter.
“Malta will move these people to ships of the Maltese Armed Forces out of territorial waters and take them ashore,” he said.
According to the Maltese Prime Minister, “all migrants will be transferred to other member states.” “None will stay in Malta,” he said.