6 EU nations agree to take 356 Ocean Viking migrants

24 August, 2019 12:00 AM printer

ON BOARD THE OCEAN VIKING: Six EU countries Friday agreed to take in 356 migrants stranded on a rescue ship in the Mediterranean after a two-week stand-off again exposed the failure of European leaders to quickly deal with desperate people fleeing conflict and poverty in Africa, reports AFP.

The Norwegian-flagged Ocean Viking, run by charities MSF and SOS Mediterranee, had been seeking a port after rescuing four boats of migrants off the Libyan coast between August 9 and 12.

After talks with the European Commission, Malta agreed its navy would transfer the migrants to the island but not be allowed to stay.

They will be relocated to other member states, Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat tweeted, listing destination countries as France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Romania.

Charities had warned that food supplies on the 69-metre (220-foot) boat were running out and staff were jubilant as the deal was announced.