Malta will help rescue 356 migrants stranded on a ship for a fortnight after reaching a deal with other countries, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has said.

The Norwegian-flagged Ocean Viking is currently in international waters between Malta and the Italian island of Lampedusa.

Mr Muscat announced Malta would be “part of the solution” in a tweet on Friday morning. 

He said the Armed Forces of Malta will meet the ship outside Maltese waters and take people to shore. 

None of those on board will remain in Malta, he said.

“All migrants will be relocated to other Member States: France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Romania. None will remain in Malta.”

He said that after discussions with France and Germany, Malta “agreed to be part of the solution in the Ocean Viking stalemate, which has 356 persons on board, without prejudice to its legal position.”

In a statement the government said more people who have arrived in Malta recently will be transferred to other member states. 

“Malta is committed to being a proactive member of the European Union, being part of pragmatic solutions that do not put undue pressure on one single member state,” it said.

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