Malta decided on Saturday night to allow the disembarkation of around 425 migrants who spent more than a month at sea while the country was waiting for solidarity from other European states | Photo: picture-alliance/J. Borg
Malta decided on Saturday night to allow the disembarkation of around 425 migrants who spent more than a month at sea while the country was waiting for solidarity from other European states | Photo: picture-alliance/J. Borg

Germany will begin taking in migrants rescued in the Mediterranean Sea from Malta and Italy after a pause during the coronavirus pandemic. It is not clear how many will be accepted.

Horst Seehofer, Germany’s interior minister, has said that Germany will recommit to accepting recently rescued migrants who are currently in Malta and Italy. "We will also accept migrants in these cases," Seehofer said on Wednesday.

Germany has taken in rescued migrants from both countries in the past, but it stopped making further commitments during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the health crisis now easing in Germany, Seehofer has indicated that this could change, but he did not say how many Germany might accept from either country.

Migrants rescued by various ships

Germany's commitments will also cover people who have been rescued by the German migrant rescue ship Alan Kurdi and Spanish vessel Aita Mari, Seehofer added. Italian authorities impounded both ships in early May.

Seehofer's comments come days after the European Commission said that Portugal, France and Luxembourg would accept some of the migrants who landed on Malta at the weekend.

•••• ➤ Also read: France, Luxembourg, Portugal to accept migrants disembarked in Malta

Many of the new arrivals  – about 425 people – had been stuck on small quarantine vessels in the Mediterranean for several weeks, some since April 30.

Both Malta and Italy have said they can no longer receive migrants during the pandemic and are calling for more support from other EU countries. 

With dpa

 

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