Malta says it will disembark 356 migrants aboard a humanitarian ship in the central Mediterranean Sea after six European countries agreed to accept all of them.
In a series of tweets Friday, Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the migrants will be transferred from the Ocean Viking to vessels of the country’s armed forces before taking them on shore.
The Norwegian-flagged rescue ship has been sailing between the island of Linosa and Malta. It was stayed out of sight of land, fearing that could agitate the traumatized passengers.
Requests for a safe port were previously denied by Malta and ignored by Italy, according to Doctors Without Borders and SOS Mediterranee, the two charities running the ship.
The 356 will be distributed to France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Romania.