French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin has announced that nine European countries have pledged to take in two-thirds of the 234 migrants picked up by the humanitarian ship Ocean Viking, which is due to dock in Toulon, southeastern France. , Friday.
The Ocean Viking of the NGO SOS Méditerranée will dock “exceptionally” in a military port in France, according to an announcement made by the French government, after Italy refused to authorize its mooring.
Among the European countries that have pledged to welcome migrants, Germany will welcome “more than 80 people”, said the French minister in a television interview.
Also, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal, Luxembourg and Ireland will welcome migrants in the name of “European solidarity”, Darmanin said.
The refugees received are those “eligible for asylum”, added the French minister, recalling that “those who cannot obtain asylum will return directly to their country of origin”.
Ocean Viking passengers come from Bangladesh, Eritrea, Syria, Egypt, Pakistan, Mali, Sudan, Guinea, according to the source cited.
Again denouncing the “inhuman” attitude of Italy, which refused to let the ship dock, Gérald Darmanin affirmed that “already 500 French police officers are at the border with Italy to better control our border”.
Since the beginning of the year, 1,765 migrants have disappeared in the Mediterranean Sea, including 1,287 in the central zone, the most dangerous migratory route in the world, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).