[WATCH] The migrant standoff so far

As European leaders try to resolve a standoff over rescued migrants in the Mediterranean this is what has happened so far in this ongoing crisis

49 migrants are stranded on two NGO ships just off Malta's coast
49 migrants are stranded on two NGO ships just off Malta's coast
Migrant standoff drags on as Europe talks

Two NGO ships with 49 rescued migrants, including children, on board have been refused entry into Maltese and Italian ports.

The migrants were picked up in waters just off the Libyan coast over the past few weeks. The 32 migrants rescued by the Sea-Watch 3 have been on board the ship since 22 December.

The ships were allowed to enter Maltese territorial waters last Wednesday to shelter from bad weather.

Despite appeals from Pope Francis, the Maltese bishops and various humanitarian organisations, including the UNHCR, Malta and Italy have remained steadfast in not allowing the migrants to disembark.

Both countries are calling for a European solution to the migration crisis in the Mediterranean.

However, while talks are underway between EU leaders, the conditions on board both NGO vessels are deteriorating. The doctor onboard the Sea-Watch 3 on Sunday described the situation as "very dire".

Children’s Commissioner Pauline Miceli joined the appeal urging the government to allow the migrants to disembark.

Meanwhile, Maltese public opinion on the matter is divided.

READ ALSO: Migrant testifies how Malta directed boat in distress towards Italy

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