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Udo Bullmann: Act of solidarity alleviates desperate hardship - but urgent necessity to achieve general solution for rescue at sea persists

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Reacting to the news that Malta has agreed to let rescue ship Aquarius dock before sending migrants elsewhere, as part of a plan pioneered by the Spanish government, S&D Group president Udo Bullmann stated:
 
“We welcome the announcement made by the Maltese government to step in and allow rescue ship Aquarius to dock on their shores. We are also thankful to the Spanish government that has been particularly instrumental in defining the solution that will now be implemented. Finally, this concrete act of European solidarity is putting an end to the hardship of 141 migrants aboard the vessel.
 
 “The decision avoids a repeat of the June incident when the Aquarius was stranded for days at sea until the Spanish government opened its ports. However, such ad hoc decisions must not become the rule when dealing with people trying to reach Europe.
 
“It is urgent that European governments demonstrate solidarity and agree on clear rules regarding places of safety and disembarkation. We call on all actors involved to ensure the security of the people in distress at sea and to avoid repeats of the current situation.”
 

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