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Malta to allow hundreds of migrants to disembark following deal with six countries

The 356 will be distributed among France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Romania.

File picture of migrants (Irish Defence Forces/PA)
File picture of migrants (Irish Defence Forces/PA)

By Associated Press Reporter

Malta has said it will allow 356 migrants aboard a humanitarian ship in the central Mediterranean Sea to disembark after six European countries agreed to accept all of them.

In a series of tweets, Maltese prime minister Joseph Muscat said the migrants will be transferred from the Ocean Viking to vessels of the country’s armed forces before taking them on shore.

The Norwegian-flagged rescue ship has been sailing between the island of Linosa and Malta.

It was kept of sight of land, fearing that could agitate the traumatised passengers.

Requests for a safe port were previously denied by Malta and ignored by Italy, according to Doctors Without Borders and SOS Mediterranee, the two charities running the ship.

The 356 will be distributed to France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Romania.

PA

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