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Malta to move migrants aboard rescue ship to EU states

A rescue operation for migrants stranded in Balikesir, Turkey on 19 November 2018 [Evren Atalay/Anadolu Agency]
A rescue operation for migrants stranded in Balikesir, Turkey on 19 November 2018 [Evren Atalay/Anadolu Agency]

The Maltese prime minister announced Friday that none of the migrants aboard a rescue ship will remain in the country, Anadolu Agency reports.

Joseph Muscat said the 356 people on Ocean Viking, which has been stranded in the Mediterranean Sea for two weeks, will be transferred to six EU nations.

“#Malta will transfer these persons to @Armed_Forces_MT [Maltese Armed Forces] vessels outside territorial waters, and will take them onshore. All #migrants will be relocated to other Member States: France, Germany, #Ireland, #Luxembourg, #Portugal and #Romania. None will remain in Malta,” Muscat tweeted.

More than 39,000 irregular migrants and refugees have reached Europe by sea since the beginning of 2019. As many as 840 died at sea, according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

More than 30,500 migrants died between 2014 and 2018 while making the treacherous journey to Europe, the IOM said in January.

READ: Captain of migrant rescue ship declines Paris honour

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