Norway says no to France: Will not accept people rescued in the Mediterranean

In this Aug. 13, 2019 photo made available Monday, Aug. 19, 2019, rescued migrants rest on the deck of the Norwegian-flagged Ocean Viking vessel, operated by two French humanitarian groups, as it sails in the waters between the Italian island of Linosa, southern Italy, and Malta. Another potential migrant standoff looms as the Ocean Viking, carrying 356 migrants, has been sailing for 10 days without being able to dock after Malta refused to find a safe port while Italy hasn't answered the ship's request. (Hannah Wallace Bowman/MSF via AP)

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Justice Minister Jøran Kallmyr (FRP) has responded to a French request asking if Norway can accept refugees and migrants rescued from the Mediterranean.

French authorities have asked whether Norway can welcome people aboard two rescue vessels in the Mediterranean.

“They have asked if we can welcome migrants from “Open Arms” and “Ocean Viking”. We have said no to this,” says Justice Minister Jøran Kallmyr to NRK.

He says the background is that basic mechanisms to prevent people from going out to sea are not in place.

“This applies, for example, to a screening system, so that we can quickly return those who do not want to stay in Europe back to Africa. Before it is in place, we do not want to participate in the distribution,” says the Minister of Justice.

France and five other EU countries have offered to welcome the migrants from the Open Arms and process the asylum applications.

Norwegian “Ocean Viking” is hired by MSF and a French organization. On board there are 356 migrants. The ship, which was just west of Malta on Tuesday night, has no place yet to land the migrants

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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