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Italy Allows Rescue Boat With 82 Migrants to Dock in Lampedusa

Italy Allows Rescue Boat With 82 Migrants to Dock in Lampedusa

Saturday, 14 September, 2019 - 08:45
Migrants are seen on board a fiberglass boat in the Mediterranean Sea, off the Libyan Coast, August 12, 2018. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Italy has allowed rescue ship Ocean Viking to disembark 82 migrants in the southern port of Lampedusa, the SOS Mediterranee charity which runs the vessel said Saturday.

"The Ocean Viking just received instructions from the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center of Rome to proceed to Lampedusa," SOS Mediterranee said in a tweet.

The Ocean Viking, which had appealed for days for a port of safety, is operated by two humanitarian groups, Doctors Without Borders and SOS Mediterranee, the Associated Press reported.

Fifty of those aboard were rescued on Sept. 8 from human traffickers' flimsy rubber dinghy launched from Libya.

Thirty-four other migrants also were rescued the next day in the Mediterranean.

"An ad hoc European agreement between Italy, France, Germany, Portugal and Luxembourg has been reached to allow the landing," said French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner, referring to the division of the migrants between the five countries.

"We now need to agree on a genuine temporary European mechanism," Castaner added, according to AFP.

The Ocean Viking had rescued 356 migrants on a previous mission.

Italy is trying to set up an automatic system for distributing migrants rescued in the Mediterranean between European countries, diplomatic sources said recently.

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