Europe urges Malta to let in stranded migrants

VALLETTA, Malta (AP) — The Maltese government said Tuesday it would not allow a tanker carrying 102 migrants to enter its waters despite a request from the European Commission to allow the passengers to disembark in Malta on humanitarian grounds.

The government has insisted that its decision to deny entry to the tanker is in keeping with international law. Maltese authorities had instructed the captain of the Liberia-registered tanker to take the migrants to Libya after he rescued them closer to the Libyan coast on Monday, but the tanker continued to Malta.

Maltese army medics boarded the tanker anchored 24 nautical miles off Malta’s coast on Tuesday and concluded that no evacuations were necessary, the government said. The migrants were being provided with food and water.

The commission in Brussels, which is the executive body of the European Union, had earlier said that the safety of passengers, including four pregnant women and one woman requiring medical care, was the foremost concern. It said sending the migrants back to their apparent origin, Libya, “would be contrary to international law.”

Each year, Malta receives thousands of migrants heading to Europe, most of them from sub-Saharan Africa.

WKBN 27 First News provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. No links will be permitted. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s