Paris says France, Spain, Germany, Portugal to share Aquarius migrants

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PARIS, Sept 25, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – France, Germany, Spain and Portugal
will take in the 58 migrants aboard the Aquarius rescue ship, the French
government said Tuesday, confirming another deal to share out migrants
rescued in the Mediterranean.

France will take 18 while Germany and Spain will each welcome 15, a
government source told AFP. Portugal said earlier it would take 10.

All of them will be able to lodge a request for asylum, which will be
analysed by the countries individually.

“Yet again a European solution has been found,” Prime Minister Edouard
Philippe said in a statement, shortly after Malta announced it would allow
the migrants to be brought to its shores after being disembarked in
international waters.

The NGO operators of the ship had said they were heading for the French
port of Marseille.

But France had signalled it was reluctant to welcome the vessel and
suggested it should instead dock in Malta, which is nearer its current
position.

Lauding the deal as “humane and effective” Philippe said it satisfied the
need to quickly bring the migrants to a port of safety and then distribute
them among willing European countries.

“France has once again accepted its responsibilities,” he declared, adding
that Paris had helped broker several deals on the relocation of migrants
rescued in the Mediterranean since June when Italy began turning away NGO-
operated rescue vessels.

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