Monday 22 July 2019

The Netherlands ‘may take six people’ from migrant rescue ship

The Sea Watch 3. Photo: Sea Watch

The Netherlands is prepared to take a maximum of six of the 32 migrants on board a Dutch flagged rescue ship in the Mediterranean, the Telegraaf has reported.

The paper says justice ministry sources say that the Netherlands will take in several people as long as other EU countries divide up the rest between them.

The justice ministry confirmed to DutchNews.nl at the end of December that the Netherlands has asked several countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea for help in finding a harbour for the ship.

And a spokesman told AFP this week that ‘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.’

Two weeks

The Sea Watch 3, operated by German aid group Sea-Watch, is sailing under the Dutch flag and has been looking for a destination for more than two weeks.

Naples mayor Luigi de Magistris said on Thursday that he is prepared to open the port to Sea Watch, despite the position of Italy’s right-wing government.

‘I hope this boat comes to the port of Naples because unlike what the government says we will put into the field a rescue action and we will let it into the port,’ he said.

The 32 migrants on board come from Congo, Sudan, Libya and Egypt. Their number includes six minors, three of whom are travelling alone. The ship is currently in international waters off the coast of Libya.

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