40 migrants rescued by German NGO disembarked in Malta
40 migrants aboard a German NGO rescue ship arrived in Malta Sunday after Italy refused to let them land and a distribution agreement was made between several EU countries.
The Alan Kurdi ship, run by charity Sea-Eye, had rescued the migrants off the Libyan coast Wednesday but Italy’s far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini denied the boat the right to use Italian ports. The boat instead traveled to Malta.
Under the distribution deal, none of the migrants will remain in the country.
“They all nearly died. Now they are celebrating life. May they find open arms and hearts in their new home,” Sea-Eye wrote in a tweet late Saturday.
It described the mission as “successful” and said the migrants had been entrusted to the Maltese army.
While emphasizing that none of the migrants would remain in Malta, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat described his country’s actions as “a sign of goodwill.”
He said Malta felt it was a “humanitarian issue” after Germany requested it allow the rescue boat to dock.
The German government and the European Commission made arrangements for the migrants to be shared among several EU countries, the Maltese government said.