Migrant ordeal comes to an end: Stranded migrants finally land in Malta

Malta will take in 49 migrants stranded on boats, then redistribute EU countries

Malta allows 49 migrants stranded off coast since December to disembark

"The migrants will be transferred from the ships to Maltese patrol boats and brought to Malta".

The two ships were stranded at sea for awhile after Italy, Malta and all other European Union countries refused to offer them a port of safety, said Reuters.

Under the same deal, many of some 249 migrants Malta said its military boats picked up last month also will be transferred to other countries.

Under the deal announced by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, the vessels won't be allowed into Maltese ports.

The deal also meets Malta's demand for other countries to take numerous 249 migrants Maltese military vessels rescued in late December.

Now, after coming closer to the Maltese coasts, according to internal sources of the Community bloc, the migrants will be sent to Germany, France, Portugal, Ireland, Romania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Italy, or repatriated.

The EC is expecting to reach an agreement between nine European countries to solve some 249 others who arrived in December 2018, something to which Spain gave the go-ahead, but recalled that it has already received more than 300 migrants rescued by a national NGO, which is still off the coast of Libya. "Every hour that passed without a solution was not an hour I was proud of", he said.

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"It is a testament to state failure; politics should never be played at the cost of people in need."

Amnesty International's Southern Europe researcher Elisa De Pieri said the time taken to reach a decision on the migrants' fate was "shameful".

The exact number of migrants that Italy has agreed to host has not been announced, but Conte had previously indicated that Rome was willing to welcome around 15.

While Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has been involved in efforts to broker an agreement and Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio had called for Italy to take in all women and children on board, Interior Minister Matteo Salvini - who is also a deputy prime minister - repeated his assertion that no migrants would be allowed to land, accusing the European Union of "giving in to the blackmail of people smugglers and NGOs" and saying he had not been consulted about the deal.

"I am, and remain, against new arrivals in Italy", said Salvini, who has spearheaded the government's tough stance of denying access to NGO-run migrant-rescue ships to Italy's ports.

Police in Spain said Wednesday they broke up a gang that allegedly smuggled people and drugs on boats from Morocco and charged migrants up to 2,000 euros ($2,300) a trip.

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