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France: Assisting migrants at sea is 'a humanitarian imperative' - Czech Republic's EU minister 03:33

France: Assisting migrants at sea is 'a humanitarian imperative' - Czech Republic's EU minister

France, Strasbourg
November 23, 2022 at 21:00 GMT +00:00 · Published

Czech Minister for European Affairs, Mikulas Bek told the European Parliament that Mediterranean countries have an obligation under international law to allow ships carrying migrants to enter, during a plenary debate in Strasbourg on Wednesday.

“Providing assistance to people in distress at sea is a humanitarian imperative and a duty of all states and shipmasters under international law,” Bek said.

“It is crucial that all actors respect applicable international and European rules and that the nearest safe port for disembarkation is provided without delay," he added.

The Czech Minister was reportedly referring to the humanitarian ship Ocean Viking, which had to wait two weeks at sea after being denied entry to an Italian port.

Earlier in the debate, European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson addressed the European Parliament and reported an unexpected increase in migration of nationalities that are 'not in need of international protection'.

“We've seen an increase along the Western Balkan routes of Pakistanis, Cubans, Indians, and Turks. We've seen an increase on the West Med route of Bangladeshis Tunisians, and Egyptians" she said.

“Irregular arrivals have to be addressed. This is not a proper way to come to European Union,” she added.

France: Assisting migrants at sea is 'a humanitarian imperative' - Czech Republic's EU minister 03:33
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Czech Minister for European Affairs, Mikulas Bek told the European Parliament that Mediterranean countries have an obligation under international law to allow ships carrying migrants to enter, during a plenary debate in Strasbourg on Wednesday.

“Providing assistance to people in distress at sea is a humanitarian imperative and a duty of all states and shipmasters under international law,” Bek said.

“It is crucial that all actors respect applicable international and European rules and that the nearest safe port for disembarkation is provided without delay," he added.

The Czech Minister was reportedly referring to the humanitarian ship Ocean Viking, which had to wait two weeks at sea after being denied entry to an Italian port.

Earlier in the debate, European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson addressed the European Parliament and reported an unexpected increase in migration of nationalities that are 'not in need of international protection'.

“We've seen an increase along the Western Balkan routes of Pakistanis, Cubans, Indians, and Turks. We've seen an increase on the West Med route of Bangladeshis Tunisians, and Egyptians" she said.

“Irregular arrivals have to be addressed. This is not a proper way to come to European Union,” she added.