Norway to receive 20 migrants from France Italy shipping dispute

immigration crisis

Norway’s foreign ministry said on Saturday that the country will receive 20 migrants rescued by the NGO Ocean Viking who disembarked in France after Italy blocked access to its ports.

Publication date: 20 November 2022 14:39 CET

Archive photo of the lifebuoy of the NGO SOS Mediteranee’s rescue vessel “Ocean Viking”. Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP

The Norwegian-flagged ship Ocean Viking, run by a French NGO, picked up 234 migrants at sea near the Libyan coast and spent weeks searching for a port to host them.

Ocean Viking was allowed to dock at the French port of Toulon at the beginning of November in what the French government called an “exceptional” decision after pleading for a few days of docking permission in Italy. I was.

About 40 minors have been placed in social care, and 189 adults have been taken to detention centers to assess the validity of their asylum applications, officials with the French interior ministry said on Friday.

Of the adults, 123 were denied entry because they did not provide sufficient evidence to support their claims, the official added.

The remaining 66 cars will be transferred to 11 other EU member states, including Germany, Finland and Portugal, and Italy will transfer them under a voluntary plan that it wants to make all EU member states compulsory. I have agreed to accept it.

Despite not being an EU member state, Norway’s foreign ministry said on Saturday it would accept 20 migrants.

“We would like to emphasize that Norway is not responsible for bringing these migrants to Norway. ,” a foreign ministry spokesman told AFP by email.

A spokeswoman said those accepted were those “likely to meet the criteria for refugee status” and that “to avoid contributing to this particular migration, unaccompanied minor asylum seekers are exempt from transfer,” he added.

The conflict between France and Italy has reignited the EU immigration debate and heightened tensions between France and Italy’s new far-right government under Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

Under international maritime law, vessels in distress must be granted access to the nearest port. That means Italy accounts for a much larger proportion of rescued migrants trying to cross from North Africa than her EU neighbors.

The Meloni government has said it has already welcomed 90,000 migrants so far this year, and its refusal to help Ocean Vikings calls for a new burden-sharing system to more evenly distribute migrants across the block. He said that this is to inform the EU that Norway to receive 20 migrants from France Italy shipping dispute

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