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Turkish-flagged migrant ship anchored off Greek island

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A Turkish-flagged cargo ship carrying about 400 migrants that had sent a distress signal on Friday has safely anchored off the Aegean island of Kos, Agence France-Presse reported on Saturday, citing Greece’s coastguard.

The ship was in international waters when the engine failed, according to reports.

The Greek migration and shipping ministers had contacted Turkish authorities asking them to take back the vessel, as well as the European Commission, Athens News Agency said.

“Turkey once again failed to comply with its responsibilities towards the EU,” Giannis Plakiotakis, the merchant marine minister, said earlier on Saturday.

“It won’t accept the return of the Turkish-flagged ship that sailed off a Turkish port, obviously with the knowledge of the Turkish coastguard and continues to have no regard for human lives.”

The Greek islands of the Eastern Aegean are the first port of call for waves of migrants coming via Turkey in search of better lives in Europe.

On Tuesday, four migrants, two of them children, drowned after a boat sank off the island of Chios.

The vessel had set out from Turkey amid strong winds, and none of the occupants had been given a life vest by the people smugglers, the Greek Coastguard said in a statement.

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