On the sidelines of the 5th Portugal-Cape Verde summit, which was held today in Lisbon, Eduardo Cabrita was asked about the willingness expressed by Portugal to welcome some of the migrants from the ship that is more than a week off Malta.
"This is another participation of Portugal in an 'ad hoc' solution regarding drifting Mediterranean vessels. Portugal once again participates in what we have called coalitions of goodwill, in this case with Germany, France and Luxembourg, "said the minister.
Eduardo Cabrita recalled that, since last summer, "the Portuguese position has been to participate in all these exceptional situations."
"This has marked our approach to the issue of migration, but always saying that this is not the way to solve this situation," he said, adding that Portugal believes that a "permanent solution at European level" is needed in articulation with the European Commission.
Asked when these new migrants will arrive in Portugal, the Minister of Internal Affairs said that the procedure previously used will be repeated.
"There is a movement of a team from the Aliens and Borders Service (SEF) to the site, which participates with the European Commission and the European Asylum Agency in sorting people, usually takes between two weeks to a month," he said.
In a statement issued this morning, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MAI) added that it had already transmitted this intention to receive up to 10 migrants to the Government of Malta.
This is not the first time that Portugal has hosted migrants, as have people rescued by the Lifeline, Aquarius I, Diciotti, Aquarius II, Sea Watch III and other small vessels, for a total of 106 people during 2018 and this year .
The announcement that Portugal and three other EU countries would welcome the migrants aboard Alan Kurdi was made today by Malta, who authorized the landing of these people in their ports, but transported by Maltese vessels.
The ship, belonging to the German Sea-Eye organization, was held for several days in the Mediterranean Sea, with no port to dock after both Italy and Malta refused to allow the entry of the 64 migrants – 50 men, 12 women and 2 children.
To justify this refusal, the Maltese authorities argued that the activity of humanitarian ships in Libya encourages human traffickers.
During these days, the humanitarian organization made several requests to Malta and Italy to authorize the landing, not least because the boat was without food or water, but none of the countries gave authorization, and the Italian authorities prevented it until the approach to the island of Lampedusa .