Five countries comprising France, Spain, Germany, Portugal and Luxembourg have agreed to take some of the 141 migrants on the Aquarius humanitarian ship, the European Commission said on Tuesday. However, European Migration Commissioner, Dimitris Avramopoulos, said the bloc needs to find a long-term solution to the migrant issue. “We cannot rely on ad-hoc arrangements, we need sustainable solutions. It is not the responsibility of one or a few Member States only, but of the European Union as a whole,’’ he said in a statement.
The Aquarius, which is operated by the French charities Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) and SOS Méditerranée, had previously been refused permission to dock by authorities in Italy and Malta. MSF announced on Monday that the vessel was midway between the countries and was awaiting further guidance.