Statement by Foreign Minister Maas on sea rescues in the Mediterranean

13.07.2019 - Press release

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the following today (13 July) with respect to sea rescues in the Mediterranean in an interview with Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND):

An agreement on sea rescues in the Mediterranean must no longer be torpedoed by disagreements over the distribution of rescued people. This blocking tactic must finally come to an end. Engaging in undignified haggling over human beings for each and every boat cannot be the solution. Neither the rescuers nor the rescued can wait any longer until the last EU member state says that it is ready to take in rescued people.

We must therefore press ahead with the member states that are prepared to take in refugees. All of the others continue to be called upon to do their part.

We need an alliance of those willing to help for a binding distribution mechanism. Our offer still stands, namely that Germany is prepared to make a substantial contribution and to guarantee that it will always take in a fixed number of rescued people. I expect that we will take a decisive step forward in the coming week.

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