VALLETTA, Malta (AP) — Five European Union nations agreed on Monday to a temporary arrangement for disembarkation and relocation of migrants rescued in the central Mediterranean from human traffickers’ unseaworthy boats, with officials pushing for a wider deal involving more EU countries. During talks in Malta, the interior ministers of France, Germany, Italy, Malta and Finland decided to share among their five countries migrants trying to cross from Libya — the deadliest migration route to Europe — who are pulled out of the sea by rescuers. The deal will apply for the coming two weeks, until an Oct. 8 meeting of European Union interior ministers, when participants in Monday’s talks hope all or many more fellow EU countries will join the arrangement. For more than a year, humanitarian ships which rescued migrants at sea were blocked by Italy and Malta from docking or disembarking their passengers to those countries. The anti-migrant policies caused repeated forced weeks-long standoffs until other EU nations stepped forward with pledges to take at least some of the migrants. It is “crucial that we move away from ship-by-ship arrangements,” said Finland’s minister, Maria Osihalo. She added that the limited deal struck Monday aims to ensure that… Read full this story
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