The Malta Independent 21 September 2019, Saturday

EU home affairs mini migration summit set for Malta on 19 September

Sunday, 1 September 2019, 10:00 Last update: about 21 days ago

A number of European Union home affairs ministers will be converging in Malta for a mini-summit on 19 September to address recurring migration standoffs, which have seen member states at loggerheads more than partners.

Several sections of the Italian media, citing diplomatic sources, have reported the summit, although there still has not been any official announcement from the Maltese government.

Maltese Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia will be hosting his counterparts from Germany, France, Italy, and Finland.

The aim will be to thrash out a solution for a temporary mechanism for disembarking migrants rescued in the central Mediterranean region.

In the meantime, up to yesterday afternoon, there were three migrant rescue boats looking for a port to let them and the migrants they rescued in.

The Alan Kurdi of the Sea Eye NGO was near Lampedusa with migrants on board, who it says were rescued in waters which are Malta’s responsibility.

The Mare Jonio of the NGO Mediterranea Saving Humans has been in international waters near Lampedusa since Wednesday with 34 migrants on board.

And the Eleonore of the NGO Mission Lifeline, with the 101 migrants rescued last Monday, is also being denied permission to enter Italian or Maltese ports. 

The Maltese government had denied the latter permission to disembark on the grounds that the country has no ‘legal obligation’ because the migrants were rescued outside its rescue zone and because the country does not have the ‘physical capacity’ to accommodate more rescued migrants, even temporarily.

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