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Italy Allows Rescue Ship To Disembark Migrants In Lampedusa

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Italy has agreed to allow rescue ship Ocean Viking to disembark 82 migrants in the southern port of Lampedusa, the SOS Mediterranee charity which runs the vessel said Saturday.

The Ocean Viking just received instructions from the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre of Rome to proceed to Lampedusa, SOS Mediterranee tweeted.

An ad hoc European agreement between Italy, France, Germany, Portugal and Luxembourg has been reached to allow the landing, said French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner, referring to the division of the migrants between the five countries.

The Ocean Viking was on its second mission and was shuttling between Malta and Italy for nearly two weeks, seeking a port to land the migrants.

Medecins Sans Frontieres, which runs the ship jointly with SOS Mediterranee, said the group comprised 58 men, six women and 18 children.

The Ocean Viking had rescued 356 migrants on its first mission.

Italy is trying to set up an automatic system for distributing migrants rescued in the Mediterranean between European countries, diplomatic sources said recently.

France and Germany have given their green light to the new system, which could also involve Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Romania and Spain, Italys Repubblica and Stampa dailies said.