August 21, 2019 / 9:53 AM / a month ago

Five EU states to take in migrants disembarked from Open Arms: Commission

A migrant looks on as he disembarks the Spanish rescue ship Open Arms NGO, after it arrived in Lampedusa, Italy, August 20, 2019. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Five European Union countries will take in migrants who had been stranded on the Open Arms rescue ship before being allowed to disembark on the Italian island of Lampedusa on Tuesday night, a European Commission spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

Spain, France, Germany, Luxembourg and Portugal will send teams to register and interview the people, make the necessary checks and transport arrangements, meaning the actual relocation to other EU states will take longer than just “a matter of days”, Tover Ernst said.

“The Commission will ...do its utmost to support and help to ensure that procedures are as swift as possible.”

Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; editing by John Stonestreet

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