The Latest: France hopeful about new EU migrants plan

International

Coffins are prepared on the dock of the tiny island of Lampedusa, Sicily, in southern Italy, Monday, Oct. 7, 2019. At least 13 people died when an overloaded migrant boat capsized near the island of Lampedusa as they were about to be rescued, the Italian Coast Guard said Monday. Twenty-two people were rescued from the sea and taken to land. (Pasquale Claudio Montana Lampo/ANSA via AP)

BRUSSELS (AP) — The Latest on migrants trying to reach Europe (all times local):

5:30 p.m.

France’s European affairs minister says around 10 European Union countries are willing to accept asylum-seekers under a temporary scheme to quickly get migrants off boats in trouble in the Mediterranean Sea.

Amelie de Montchalin said she thinks there are around 10 EU countries “that are ready to play the game. Perhaps others.”

She told reporters in Luxembourg on the sidelines of a meeting of EU interior ministers that “we are going to be able to say that when a boat arrives, we know who to call and that there are countries ready to send teams in.”

Germany, France, Italy and Malta are seeking approval for a “fast-track” process that would screen migrants, relocate asylum-seekers and return people who do not apply or qualify, and all within four weeks.

Countries taking part would announce “pre-declared pledges” on the number of asylum-seekers they would accept.

___

9:45 a.m.

The European Union’s top migration official is urging EU member states to back a temporary plan to quickly get migrants off boats in the Mediterranean Sea and distribute them among willing countries.

EU Migration Commissioner Dmitris Avramopoulos says a meeting in Luxembourg Tuesday of the bloc’s interior ministers is “a moment for all member states to show more solidarity and more responsibility.”

But Avramopoulos says the EU “cannot only try to find ad-hoc solutions. We need permanent mechanisms.”

Germany, France, Italy and Malta are seeking approval for a “fast-track” process to screen migrants, relocate asylum-seekers and return people who do not apply or qualify, all within four weeks.

The system would work based on “pre-declared pledges” countries would make to accept asylum-seekers and involve “streamlining procedures” currently in place.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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