Malta Allows Migrant Rescue Ship to Dock

 African migrants who were on boats in distress in the Mediterranean on their way to Europe, and rescued by the Libyan coast guard arrive to shore, east of the capital, Tripoli, Libya. (Libyan Coast Guard via AP)

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — The prime minister of Malta says it will allow a humanitarian rescue ship to dock in Malta, and that the more than 200 migrants on board would be distributed among seven EU states.

Joseph Muscat told a press conference that the ship operated by German group Lifeline Mission was expected to arrive Wednesday evening. The ship picked up the migrants off the Libyan coast six days ago but has been waiting for safe haven at sea.

He said that the ship would be impounded and that upon arrival, the migrants would be vetted. Asylum would be given to those eligible while others will be returned to their country of origin.

He said authorities would investigate the legality of the ship’s registration and its behavior at sea, including the fact it appears to have turned off its transponder.

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