A group of immigrants was located from Malta to France this morning following an agreement between the two countries aimed at reducing the burden of irregular migration in Europe.
The immigrants, who totalled roughly 90, left on a direct flight o Paris this morning where they will continue to seek asylum in France.
According to the Home Affairs Ministry, the relocation came about following discussions with the French Embassy in Malta and the International Organisation for Immigration. As part of the agreement, the immigrants underwent medical examinations to ensure that none of them tested positive for COVID-19.
“Despite the obstacles caused by the pandemic, the Maltese authorities are working to transfer hundreds of other immigrants to other member states in the coming weeks and months,” the Home Affairs Ministry said in a press release.
Prime Minister Robert Abela took to social media to commend the act of solidarity between the two EU member states.
Group of migrants relocated to #France as part of an ad hoc arrangement to share responsibility of irregular #migration. This is ???????? #solidarity in action. -RA @FranceinMalta @byroncamilleri @MaltaGov @EmmanuelMacron pic.twitter.com/0icQTETJtN
— Robert Abela (@RobertAbela_MT) September 23, 2020
Speaking at a Summit Med 7 earlier this month, Abela addressed the immigration crisis affecting Malta and insisted that it be given more importance in the EU.
“Today’s relocation is taking place at the same time as the European Commission is in the process of launching an updated immigration policy,” the press release continued.
“The Maltese government believes that sharing the responsibility of immigrants is part of the solution so that Malta does not bear the burden of immigration alone.”
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