Ocean Viking: Six EU states to take in migrants from rescue vessel

The rescue ship, which blocked from docking in Italy, has been allowed to disembark in Malta

Migrants celebrate aboard the 'Ocean Viking' rescue ship, jointly operated by French NGOs SOS Mediterranee and Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF Doctors without Borders) on August 23, 2019, as six EU countries agreed to take them in after 14 days at sea. Malta's prime minister said on August 23, 2019 that six EU countries had agreed to take in 356 migrants stranded on a rescue ship in the Mediterranean as charities warned food supplies onboard were running out. Maltese navy boats will transfer the migrants from outside its territorial waters to land. / AFP / Anne CHAON
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Six nations from the European Union have agreed to take in the 356 migrants on board the Ocean Viking rescue ship after it was allowed to disembark in Malta.

The Norwegian-flagged vessel has been stranded at sea for 14 days, the international NGO Médecins Sans Frontières, (MSF) told The National on Wednesday, amid the ongoing standoff between the Italian government and charities operating rescue ships that help migrants attempting to reach Europe.

Requests for a safe port were previously denied by Malta and ignored by Italy.

“Welcome that a solution for the persons aboard Ocean Viking has been found and that all will be relocated,” the EU's Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said on Twitter.

France will be taking in 150 of the migrants, while the remaining 206 will be distributed between Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Romania.

France's interior minister Christophe Castaner tweeted that the migrants will be welcomed in France "in the coming days".

He added: "Together, we managed to build a European solution."