A group of migrants who arrived in Malta irregularly have been returned to their country of origin.
The migrants were flown out of Malta after failing to receive asylum status and after it was deemed that the return to their country of origin was safe.
In a press release, the Home Affairs Ministry said the migrants in question originated from outside Europe and had arrived illegally by boat over 2019 and 2020.
The migrants left Malta by plane in an operation coordinated by the Malta Police Immigration section.
“My government is committed to preventing the arrival of irregular immigrants, sharing the burden with European countries and returning immigrants who do not need protection,” Prime Minister Robert Abela said in a Facebook post.
Speaking at a Summit Med 7 last year, Abela addressed the immigration crisis affecting Malta and insisted that it be given more importance in the EU.
Since then, Germany and France have accepted asylum-seekers from Malta following a bilateral agreement to reduce the irregular migration in Europe.
Today’s operation costs were covered by the EU from the Asylum, Migration and Integration fund.
“Our country has always been at the forefront of protecting those who really need protection. On the other hand, we must be in a position to use all tools afforded by law to return those who have arrived here illegally and are found not to deserve any form of protection” said Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri.
Last week, allegations emerged that Malta had denied entry to 265 migrants rescued at sea forcing Search and Rescue NGO Open Arms to dock in Sicily instead.
The Home Affairs Ministry hasn’t denied these allegations, instead choosing to remain silent on the issue despite Lovin Malta’s several attempts for answers.
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