Migrant ordeal comes to an end: Stranded migrants finally land in Malta


Malta has announced that it will allow two ships, stranded for weeks with 49 migrants and refugees on board, to dock.

The deal also involves the resettlement of more than 100 other migrants already in Malta, he announced.

The 49 migrants, including a baby and several children, were rescued while attempting the risky Mediterranean crossing from North Africa to Europe.

For this reason, the agreement allows for the migrants to be transported by military ships to Malta, before being transferred on to Luxembourg, Germany, France, Netherlands, Ireland, Italy Portugal and Romania.

Another 78 will be allowed to stay in Malta, and 44 Bangladeshi migrants will be sent back to their country.

Alter said eight countries have now indicated their willingness to take in the migrants but talks are ongoing with more.

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Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte has said that if Italy takes about 15 rescued migrant children and their parents that wouldn't "stain" the country's crackdown on accepting migrants rescued by private aid vessels. "After 19 days at sea, our guests will finally reach a safe port". "This represents a confession of state failure, policy must not be made at the expense of people in distress".

But Muscat issued a warning to future rescuers: "I reiterate, as I did before, that this case shall not act as a precedent".

The migrants will first be transferred to Maltese army patrol boats before arriving on the European Union island nation.

The deal calls for 300 migrants to be redistributed between eight countries, including Ireland.

"I am and remain absolutely against any new arrivals in Italy", Mr Salvini said on Twitter.

The migrants involved in the EU-brokered deals are part of waves of people fleeing poverty and conflict in Africa, Asia or the Middle East, who have risked their lives aboard smugglers' boats to try to reach European shores in recent years. "Giving in to the pressures and threats of Europe and NGOs is a sign of weakness", he said. He said that Germany still aims to reach "a long-term and sustainable mechanism".