Loading articles...

France to take in 20 migrants from NGO rescue ship off Malta

Migrants stand on the dock of the Sea-Watch rescue ship after being rescued in the waters off Libya Wednesday, April 3, 2019. The German humanitarian group Sea-Watch says the ship it operates in the central Mediterranean Sea has rescued 64 migrants in waters off Libya. Sea-Watch wrote Wednesday on Twitter that the people brought to safety from a rubber dinghy included 10 women, five children and a newborn baby. The group said it carried out the rescue off the coast of Zuwarah after Libyan authorities couldn't be reached. Sea-Watch is asking Italy or Malta to open a port to the rescue ship, the Alan Kurdi. (Fabian Heinz/Sea-eye.org via AP)

PARIS — France’s interior minister says his country is ready to take in 20 of the migrants on a NGO rescue ship that is on its ninth day at sea.

Christophe Castaner tweeted Friday that France, along with Germany and some other European partners, has agreed to welcome migrants out of “solidarity,” to allow them to disembark the ship in the nearest port, Valletta in Malta.

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said Friday his country is refusing to allow port access to the ship, saying that the NGO should have headed to Tunisia, the nearest safe port to the rescue spot. Italy has also refused entry.

The German humanitarian aid group, Sea-Eye had 64 rescued migrants on board the Alan Kurdi, including two women who were evacuated from the ship this week for medical reasons.

The Associated Press