In response to the European Commission's appeal, Portugal manifests its availability to receive up to 35 people of the 356 rescued by the humanitarian vessel Ocean Viking, which is currently waiting in the Sicily Channel, between Malta and Lampedusa.

The Ocean Viking has been waiting for 10 days for an authorisation to berth at a safe European port.

Portugal, France, Germany, Romania and Luxembourg have already manifested their availability to receive some people of this group as a gesture of humanitarian solidarity and common desire to provide European solutions to the issue of migration and human tragedies that happen in the Mediterranean.

Portugal has had an active role in all the resettlement processes.

This was the case with the rescue of the vessels Open Arms, Lifeline, Aquarius I, Diciotti, Aquarius II, Sea Watch III, Alan Kurdi and other small vessels. As a result of these rescues, 132 people were taken in by Portugal since 2018.

Notwithstanding this solidary availability that was always manifested, the Portuguese Government continues to defend an integrated, stable and permanent European solution that can address the migratory challenges.

Lisbon, 22 August 2019

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