Indonesia and Malaysia has agreed to provide temporary shelters for stranded migrants citing ‘humanitarian concerns’.
The breakthrough came at meeting hosted in Kuala Lampur between the foreign ministers of three South East Asian nations.
Thailand has not yet commented if they will help. Thai officials claimed they are looking if the country’s domestic laws allowed such refuge.
The foreign minister of Malaysia Anifah Aman said their country along with Indonesia agreed to give the estimated 7,000 stranded migrants temporary shelter on condition that the resettlement and repatriation process will be completed in one year by the international community. She also said the towing of boats shall be stopped.
Philippines is the only nation that has agreed to take in some of the refugees.
Malaysia’s home minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that the migrants are trying to enter the country illegally but due to humanitarian reasons, their well-being cannot be ignored.
Malaysia and Indonesia will not however send their navies to search for the ships. They will only be granted refugee if they reach the coast.
The three countries have also pledged tougher measures against human traffickers in the meeting.
The declaration comes amidst international pressure on the three countries not to turn away desperate refugees.
Many sympathisers in Malaysia and Indonesia have also asked their government to accommodate the refugees for humanitarian and religious reasons.