REPORT: Spain offers to take loaded migrant ship amid Italy-Malta standoff (video)
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ROME (AP) — Spain stepped up Monday and offered to take in a rescue ship carrying more than 600 migrants after Italy and Malta refused. The diplomatic standoff left the migrants stranded in the Mediterranean Sea and revealed the brass-knuckled negotiating tactics of Italy’s new anti-immigrant government.
Italy and Malta quickly thanked Spain’s new Socialist prime minister for the offer to receive aid group SOS Mediterranee’s ship at the port of Valencia. But it wasn’t certain if the voyage was feasible given the distance and how long the rescue vessel had been at sea.
The article goes on to state the following:
The Aquarius on Monday was more than 1,400 kilometers (over 750 nautical miles) from Valencia and said it had received no instructions yet to head to Spain.
“It means that we need at least two more days of sailing, which is not possible today with 629 people on board,” SOS Mediterranee Maritime Operations Manager Antoine Laurent said.
The U.N. refugee agency, the European Union, Germany and humanitarian groups had all demanded that the Mediterranean countries put their domestic politics aside and urgently consider the plight of the 629 migrants, among them more than 100 children, pregnant women and people suffering from hypothermia.
“The duty of a democratic government is not to look away” in a humanitarian crisis, said Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau, who also offered her port as a potential solution to the standoff.
Enough is enough. 629 refugees, among them pregnant woman, rocking on the Mediterranean Sea. Tomorrow, follow the debate in the @Europarl_EN where we will confront the European Council & it’s Member States w/ this scandal and their lack of responsibility. https://t.co/CndCeehDOq
— Guy Verhofstadt (@guyverhofstadt) June 11, 2018
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UPDATE: Spain offered on Monday to take in a rescue ship that is drifting in the Mediterranean sea with 629 migrants on board after Italy and Malta refused to let it dock. https://t.co/5wnRlTGDBl
— Natasha Fatah (@NatashaFatah) June 11, 2018
Ship carrying 629 migrants including pregnant women and children stranded in the Mediterranean Sea after Italy’s populists refuse to let rescue ship dock https://t.co/AH18tRzMdH
— CNN Africa (@CNNAfrica) June 11, 2018
A ship carrying more than 600 rescued migrants is stranded in the Mediterranean Sea between Malta and Italy after both countries declined to take its human cargo. The ship, Aquarius, is operated by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and the SOS… https://t.co/iZWGxVhJw7
— ABA Refugee Law (@ABARefugee) June 11, 2018
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