The Malta Independent 15 June 2021, Tuesday

Tanker with migrants to land in Syracuse - government

Malta Independent Wednesday, 7 August 2013, 06:23 Last update: about 8 years ago

The MT Salamis is on its way to Syracuse in Italy after the Italian authorities accepted to take on the immigrants who are on board, the government said.

This was made possible after lengthy diplomatic discussions involving Italy, Greece and Malta, the Department of Information said.

The MT Salamis had been anchored 24 nautical miles off the Maltese coast for more than 24 hours after it had picked up 102 irregular migrants off the Libyan coast, and instead of returning to Libya, which was the nearest port, had chosen to proceed towards Malta.

Malta had refused to give permission to the tanker to enter Maltese waters, insisting that it was acting within international law.

In its statement last night, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat thanked his Italian counterpart Enrico Letta and said that the decision taken will help to strengthen the relations between the two countries.

He said that Malta’s position was clear, strong and legitimate, and sent a clear message, the government said, without elaborating.

The PM also thanked minister Manwel Mallia, the AFM Brigadier Martin Xuereb, the Attorney General and government officials who worked together on this delicate issue.

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