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Malta to allow migrant rescue ship to dock, ending standoff

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Malta to allow migrant rescue ship to dock, ending standoff

Malta to allow migrant rescue ship to dock, ending standoff
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CASTILLE, Malta (Reuters) - A humanitarian ship that has had some 130 rescued migrants on board for almost a week will enter a Maltese port on Wednesday, ending a standoff with Italy which refused to let the ship dock.

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat told reporters seven European Union countries offered to share the burden of the migrants with Malta. The Lifeline ship, operated by German charity Mission Lifeline, is due to dock at around 1600 GMT.

"Lifeline will be granted permission to enter a Maltese port, where procedures for identification, ascertaining their asylum eligibility, and distribution to other member states will start immediately," Muscat said.

(writing by Steve Scherer)

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