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Five EU interior ministers agree on draft migration deal

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By Euronews with Reuters, AP
Interior ministers from France, Italy, Germany, FInland, and Malta stand with the EU Commissioner for Migration
Interior ministers from France, Italy, Germany, FInland, and Malta stand with the EU Commissioner for Migration   -   Copyright  Associated Press
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Interior ministers from five European Union states agreed on a draft deal to present to other EU countries on how to manage the migrant crisis and distribute those saved from the Mediterranean.

"It's a first step that brings together our four countries under Finland's presidency," French interior minister Christopher Castaner said at a press conference in Malta.

He said the plan will be presented to other interior ministers on October 8th.

"We will live up to this meeting to save these women, men, and children so that those who are working to save [migrants] in the Mediterranean find a safe place quickly," Castaner added.

"We will bring this draft agreement to Europe in October, and the project remains open to contributions also from other countries," said Italian home secretary Luciana Lamorgese at the press conference in Malta.

The details of the plan and how the redistribution would work were not discussed, but Lamorgese said that migrants would be sent to other EU states within four weeks of arriving, Reuters reported.

"Upon approval, countries have to come forth and volunteer as places for disembarkation, and others who accept will participate in relocation," the Ministry for Home Affairs and National Security in Malta said in a press release.

"Finally, frontline countries who are under stress in view of migratory flows are not to be left alone."

The UN refugee agency states that over 57,000 refugees and migrants have arrived in Italy, Greece, Spain, Cyprus and Malta by sea so far this year.

Greece and Spain, who have taken in tens of thousands of migrants and who took in more migrants and refugees than any other country last year, were not present at the meeting of interior ministers.

European Parliament President David Sassoli said the agreement moved "in the direction outlined by the European Parliament" stating that Europe should regulate the "redistribution of asylum seekers".