Norway accepts 20 “Ocean Viking” ship migrants after a standoff between France and Italy

Norway’s international ministry stated on Saturday that the nation would soak up 20 of the migrants rescued by NGO Ocean Viking, who disembarked in France after Italy blocked entry to its ports.

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The Ocean Viking, a Norwegian-flagged vessel operated by a French NGO, had picked up 234 migrants at sea close to the Libyan coast earlier than spending weeks trying to find a port to obtain them.

After pleading for days to dock in Italy, the Ocean Viking was allowed to dock within the French port of Toulon earlier in November in what the French authorities known as an “exceptional” choice.

About 40 minors have been positioned in social care, whereas 189 adults had been taken to a detention middle to judge the validity of their asylum claims, a French inside ministry official stated on Friday.

Of the adults, 123 folks didn’t present enough proof to again up their claims and had been denied entry, the official added.

The 66 others will likely be transferred to 11 different EU international locations, together with Germany, Finland and Portugal, which have agreed to take them in beneath a voluntary system that Italy needs to make obligatory for all EU members.

Regardless of not being an EU member, Norway’s international ministry stated on Saturday it will soak up 20 of the migrants.

“We want to emphasize that Norway has no responsibility for taking any of these migrants to Norway. The government has taken this extraordinary decision in response to a request from France to help in a difficult situation,” a spokeswoman advised AFP in a electronic mail. .

The spokeswoman added that these admitted had been folks “highly likely to meet the criteria for refugee status”, and that “unaccompanied minor asylum seekers are excluded from transfer, to avoid encouraging this particular migration”.

The standoff between France and Italy reignited the EU’s immigration debate and heightened tensions between France and Italy’s new far-right authorities beneath Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

Underneath worldwide maritime legislation, ships in misery have to be given entry to the closest port, that means Italy takes in a far larger share than its EU neighbors of the migrants rescued making an attempt to cross from North Africa.

Meloni’s authorities says it has already taken in 90,000 migrants to date this 12 months, and stated its refusal to assist the Ocean Viking was a sign to the EU that it wants a brand new burden-sharing system to unfold migrants extra pretty throughout the bloc.


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