彩神ll登录网址Stranded migrant vessel allowed to enter Maltese territory
VALLETTA, June 27 (Xinhua) -- The rescue vessel MV Lifeline with 234 migrants on board stranded in international waters was granted permission to enter Maltese territory on Wednesday morning.
The ship is at the center of a dispute among European member states after it was refused entry into both Italy and Malta.
German NGO Mission Lifeline, which operates the vessel, tweeted on Tuesday evening that the captain could be seen requesting permission to enter Maltese territory due to worsening weather conditions at sea.
The ship later announced via Twitter that it had been granted permission to enter Maltese territory.
There are 70 unaccompanied minors on board, 14 women, three babies and a child.
The migrants on board were rescued by the German NGO on Thursday evening within the Libyan search and rescue area despite the Rome Coordination Center having ordered the captain to leave the rescue to the Libyan coast guard.
Malta is insisting that by doing so, the vessel breached its obligations to abide by instructions by competent search and rescue authorities.
Malta has also said it was a mistake for Italy to order the boat to sail towards Malta, given that the country had no competence in the rescue.
Following an informal migration summit between European leaders held on Sunday, both France and Italy seemed to hint that Malta had agreed to take in the vessel.
The Maltese government however is holding out for an agreement that will see the migrants on board shared among European member states.
So far France, Italy and Malta have all publicly pledged to take a share of the migrants. It has also been reported that Portugal and Ireland have also made their own pledges, while Germany, The Netherlands and Spain are still evaluating the proposal.
Human rights NGOs in Malta have voiced concerns about the possibility of the Maltese authorities taking legal action against the Lifeline's crew, who the government has said acted illegally.