Portugal willing to host some of migrants stranded in Mediterranean
14 Apr 2019, 00:49 ( 11 days ago)
Portugal has expressed willingness to host up to 10 of the 64 migrants stranded in the Mediterranean Sea, the Portuguese Ministry of Internal Administration said on Saturday.
On the sideline of the fifth Portugal-Cape Verde Summit here on Saturday, Portuguese Minister of Internal Administration Eduardo Cabrita told reporters that his country has been active in finding a solution to the migration issue facing the EU countries.
"This is another participation of Portugal in an 'ad hoc' solution for drifting vessels in the Mediterranean. Portugal once again participates in what we have called coalitions of goodwill, in this case with Germany, France and Luxembourg," he said.
Cabrita recalled that, since last summer, "the Portuguese position has been to participate in all these exceptional situations."
"This has marked our approach to the issue of migration, but always saying that this is not the way to solve this situation," he said, adding that Portugal believes that a "permanent solution at European level" is needed in articulation with the European Commission.
The minister said that the procedure previously used will be repeated and the 10 migrants will arrive in Portugal "within two weeks to a month".
The Ministry of Internal Administration said in a statement earlier on Saturday that it had already conveyed this intention to the government of Malta, following the cooperation agreement reached between Portugal, Germany, France and Luxembourg, with the coordination of the European Commission.
Portugal is "taking on its commitment to solidarity and European cooperation in the field of migration by actively participating in all reception processes," said the statement.
The Portuguese government "continues to defend an integrated, stable and permanent European solution to meet the migratory challenge," the statement said.
European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos, on twitter, welcomed the agreement reached by Portugal, Germany, France and Luxembourg to host the 64 migrants.
The ship, belonging to the German Sea-Eye organization, had been "stuck" for several days in the Mediterranean, with no port to dock after both Italy and Malta refused to allow the entry of 64 migrants -- 50 men, 12 women and 2 children.