VALLETTA (Reuters) – Malta will allow two ships that have been stranded at sea for weeks with 49 migrants on board to dock, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said on Wednesday, adding that they will then be re-distributed among eight European Union countries.
The Sea-Watch 3, a vessel run by a German humanitarian group, plucked 32 people from an unsafe boat off the coast of Libya on Dec. 22. Another German charity, Sea-Eye, rescued 17 others on Dec. 29.
They have both been sailing back in forth in Maltese waters for days after Italy, Malta and all other EU countries refused to offer them a port of safety.
(Reporting by Chris Scicluna in Valletta, writing by Steve Scherer in Rome)