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Malta allows the migrant rescue ship to shelter in its waters, as Netherlands offer to take them

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

VALLETTA – The Netherlands announced on Wednesday it was prepared to welcome some of the 32 migrants waiting to disembark from a Dutch-flagged vessel off Malta if other countries did the same.

The vessel – the Sea Watch 3 – earlier on Wednesday was allowed by Malta to enter its waters to shelter from a storm. The migrants were taken on board the ship on December 22 after being rescued off Libya.

“The Netherlands has indicated a readiness to possibly take in a proportional number of migrants who are on board Sea-Watch 3, on condition that other European countries do the same,” said security and justice ministry spokesman Lennart Wegewijs.

The Dutch had at first joined Italy, Malta and Spain in refusing to accept the migrants who were rescued on December 22 by Sea-Watch 3, which is operated by a German charity.

“Negotiations coordinated by the European Commission are underway between the different European countries,” Wegewijs told AFP. “We are seeking a solution to this situation.”

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