Norway takes in 20 Ocean Viking ship migrants following France-Italy dispute

© Vincenzo Circosta, AFP

Norway's foreign ministry said Saturday that the country would take in 20 of the migrants rescued by the Ocean Viking NGO, who disembarked in France after Italy blocked access to its ports.

The Ocean Viking, a Norwegian-flagged vessel operated by a French NGO, had picked up 234 migrants at sea near the Libyan coast before spending weeks seeking a port to accept them.

After pleading for days to be allowed to dock in Italy, the Ocean Viking was allowed to dock at the French port of Toulon earlier in November in what the French government called an "exceptional" decision.

Around 40 minors have been placed in social care, while 189 adults were brought to a retention centre to evaluate the validity of their asylum requests, a French interior ministry official said Friday.

Of the adults, 123 people did not provide sufficient proof to back up their claims and were denied entry, the official added.

Despite not being an EU member, Norway's foreign ministry said Saturday it would accept 20 of the migrants.


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