Updated (7): Lifeline to dock in Malta – Portugal

Hermine Poschmann/Misson-Lifeline/Handout via REUTERS

The Portuguese Government has declared that Lifeline will dock in Malta. Six EU Member States have accepted to take a number of the stranded migrants on board Lifeline. According to reports the Maltese Government agreed to allow the ship to dock once other EU countries confirmed that they would help.

France and Portugal among the Member States to take a number of migrants

French President Emmanuel Macron announced that France will be among the countries to welcome some of the migrants on board Lifeline. Portugal announced that it will take in a number of migrants too.

The Government warns Lifeline against docking in Malta

Meanwhile Lifeline NGO said that it had received a message from the Maltese Government at 6pm on Tuesday still banning it from entering Maltese territorial waters. The NGO said that they could not confirm the reports in the media.

Malta will welcome us – Lifeline

Lifeline’s crew said they heard that Malta will welcome the ship with immigrants being distributed in the European Union countries in due course.

In a tweet, earlier in the afternoon, Lifeline welcomed “the support of the Maltese” but said they now have the support of European Union countries to welcome people home. They also said that Malta asked for this arrangement and therefore are making this appeal on their part as well.

Reports say Malta will welcome the ship

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that Lifeline ship is expected to enter Malta. This was announced on Italian channel Sky TG24. Conte was quoted explaining that Italy will welcome part of the migrants on board the Lifeline.

When contacted by Newsbook.com.mt site, a spokesman for the Government did not respond to questions about whether these reports are true but it seems that the Maltese Government source gave information to foreign news agencies.

These sources “close to the Maltese Government” said five or six countries are available to welcome people from Lifeline. These include France and Spain. They added that the agreement is currently limited to this single episode, and further negotiations will have to take place for the future.

Follow the movements of the vessel here:

France says Malta may let migrant rescue ship dock

Malta appears ready to allow the rescue ship Lifeline, stuck in international waters in the Mediterranean sea with more than 230 migrants aboard, to enter one of its ports after Italy refused, a French government spokesman said on Tuesday.

In Valletta, sources close to the Maltese government told Reuters a final decision was still pending.

“No final decision has been made yet but if the ship comes in, the understanding is that the migrants will be shared among EU countries,” one of the sources said.

A solution was broached in discussions on Monday between French President Emmanuel Macron and Malta‘s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, French government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said.

“A European solution may be to have the ship dock in Malta. It is the solution that seems to be shaping up at the moment,” Griveaux told RTL radio, without elaborating.

“France would then be ready to send a team there to study individual (asylum) requests,” he said.

The Lifeline is the second rescue ship in weeks to expose Europe’s deep divisions over how to share refugees and economic migrants.

Leaders of the European Union failed on Sunday to come up with a joint position to tackle migration and will try again at a summit at the end of this week.

Earlier this month, a ship carrying more than 600 migrants, the Aquarius, was stranded before it was accepted by Spain.