Spain offers to take in Aquarius ship carrying over 600 refugees

12 Junio, 2018, 01:31 | Author: Kelly Blake
  • Humanitarian group SOS Mediterranee said there were 123 minors on board the Aquarius ship

The mayors of Naples and Reggio Calabria - two coastal cities in mainland Italy - also said they would allow the ship to dock.

Matteo Salvini, Italy's new interior minister, prevented the passengers from disembarking in his country on Sunday.

"The boat is now heading north towards a secure port", SOS Mediterranee tweeted on Sunday without specifying its destination, though virtually every such migrant boat over the past five years has ended up in Italy. Salvini has already said he wants to work with Orban, with whom he has already spoken on the phone, to "change the rules" of the EU. "We're closing the ports".

His co-deputy premier, Luigi Di Maio, claimed that Monday was a turning point in Europe's divisive debate over immigration. "She conveyed to me that the government would designate the port of Valencia as a safe port for this humanitarian operation, which the government will undertake hand in hand with the UN", Puig said, adding that it was good news for Spain and Valencia, which are considered open and welcoming.

The rescuers say those on board Acquarius include 123 unaccompanied minors, 11 children, and 7 pregnant women.

"That's why we ask the government in Valletta to take in the Aquarius in order to offer first aid to the migrants on board", the statement continued.

The Italian government said it had written to Malta asking to let the vessel, Aquarius, dock there.

Last week, Salvini said Rome should increase its deportations of migrants.

Under the global law, people rescued in the sea should be brought to the closest and safest port for assistance.

"The prime minister has given instructions for Spain to honor global commitments on humanitarian crises and announced that the country will receive the ship Aquarius", his office said in a statement. And he said the logistics and time counted against setting a course for Spain.

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Mr. Galietti said it is not known whether the agreement struck with Libya by the last Italian government to slow the flow of migrants will automatically transfer to the new Italian government. "All the survivors are exhausted and dehydrated because they spent many hours adrift in these boats".

The Sea Watch still did not have any migrants on board, spokesman Ruben Neugebauer said.

Doctors Without Borders, which has staff aboard the Aquarius, tweeted a video of some of the women aboard the ship praying on Monday morning, and said they were unaware of the diplomatic drama being waged on land over their fate.

"Thank you, Lord", the women sang.

The League had promised voters during recent elections that it would take a tough stance on immigration.

"As such Malta will not take the said vessel in its ports", their statement continued.

Italy has had to accept some 700,000 migrants since 2013, in line with the controversial Dublin Regulation requiring to declare refugee status in their first country of arrival. In particular, Salvini was calling out Malta for being less than thirty miles away and consistently refusing to accept any of these boat people who are rescued at sea.

The migrant rescue charity SOS Méditerranée, which runs the Aquarius, said 629 migrants had been picked up in six different rescue operations off Libya's coast on Sunday.

"Italy has stopped bowing our heads and obeying".

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