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Order of Malta joins effort to resolve migration crisis — Grand Master

October 02, 2015, 18:58 UTC+3 ST. PETERSBURG
The order is working very closely with the Italian naval authorities, the coast guard and the Italian navy in the business of collecting migrants wretched in the Mediterranean sea
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© AP Photo/Darko Bandic

ST. PETERSBURG, October 2. /TASS/. The Order of Malta, the world's oldest surviving order of chivalry of the Catholic Church, is involved in resolving migration crisis, the order’s Prince and Grand Master Matthew Festing told TASS during his visit to Russia.

"We are running 27 camps in Germany alone for these people [migrants]," Festing said in an interview with TASS First Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman. "And that’s in addition to what we are doing in France, Belgium, Hungary."

"We are very much involved in that," he said.

The order is "working very closely with the Italian naval authorities, the coast guard and the Italian navy in the business of actually collecting these wretched people in the sea," he added.

Being a humanitarian organization, the Order of Malta "have to react to this great problem". "It’s a very serious problem for us," Festing said. "We are involved in it at a humanitarian level."

"Politically it’s a great problem for the whole of the West," he noted.

According to Festing, people are moving "not just from the Middle East, not just from Syria" but "also out of Africa, out of Asia and it’s a completely new phenomenon."

Malta is at the heart of the crisis, the prince added, and they have to find the way out of it. "It’s a very serious problem for the politicians," Festing said. "Some countries seem to be prepared to welcome people, other countries are less able to do so economically and all sort of things."

"Our observer status at the United Nations and our representation with the European Union allows us to have at least some influence on giving some news on what is going to happen," the Grand Master said.

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