Malta to relocate migrants to other EU states

A migrant carries a baby on her shoulders after refugees and migrants arrived on the passenger ferry Blue Star1 at the port of Piraeus, near Athens, Greece, January 31, 2016. Picture taken January 31, 2016. (REUTERS Photo)

Malta has reached an agreement with the EU for the relocation of 284 migrants to other member states, the government said on Monday.

Quoting a Maltese government statement, local media outlets said that "discussion on the relocation of a further 80 were still ongoing".

The statement didn't mention which states had committed to taking in the relocated migrants.

shut down its ports to asylum seekers and migrants since the start of the coronavirus outbreak. However, tightened measures did not stop migrants from coming, triggering the start of negotiations between Malta and other EU member states.

In May, more than 400 rescued migrants were kept in vessels by Maltese authorities.

The government said it spent €1.7 million ($1.92 million) on keeping the migrants on board these vessels.

The Maltese government has been accusing its European counterparts of failing to keep their promises to take in migrants rescued at sea.

Arrivals of migrants in Malta have increased this year, with around 1,135 people entering as of March, compared to 136 at this point in 2019, according to the UN.

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