Spanish port to accept 629 stranded migrants snubbed by Italy

Spain accepts 629 stranded migrants after Italy and Malta refused them

Spanish port to accept 629 stranded migrants snubbed by Italy

"In the interest of protecting safety of life at sea, ICS is therefore calling on all EU Member States to urgently address the legitimate concerns raised by the Italian government about the large number of rescued persons arriving in Italy, in order that the policy of prompt and predictable disembarkation - consistent with UNHCR principles - can be fully maintained, not just in Italy but in other EU Member States too".

The 629 migrants, including pregnant women and children, were saved by SOS Mediterranée on Saturday, but the Aquarius was caught in a dramatic standoff over the weekend in which Italy and Malta refused to allow it to dock.

"The people are frightened, they're very fragile, vulnerable and traumatized by their journey at sea, which would last another 48 hours", tweeted MSF coordinator Aloys Vimard, who is on board the boat.

"The boat is overcrowded and we are above capacity".

"We are talking about people".

Spains new prime minister Pedro Sanchez ordered authorities to allow The Aquarius - a rescue ship belonging to the SOS Mediterraneee charity - to dock in the eastern port of Valencia after it was refused access by both Italy and Malta. Macron also praised Spain for pledging to accept the ship once it reaches their shores.

"People rescued at sea must be disembarked in nearest safe port". The mayor of Taranto, Rinaldo Melucci said the southern port city was "ready to embrace every life in danger".

Meanwhile, local leaders on the French island of Corsica suggested opening one of their ports to the ship, but the central government in France did not support the proposal, The Local reported.

"[Corsican leader Gilles Simeoni] is taking a position without having any responsibility which is easy", Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, junior Europe and foreign affairs minister told Sud Radio.

"What does worldwide law say?" They need to go to the port that is safest and closest. "We're closing the ports".

The outgoing Democratic Party government had already intensified cooperation with Libyan authorities to stop departures and enable Libyan coast guard forces to intercept migrant boats in global waters and take people back to horrific conditions in arbitrary detention in Libya.

"If a boat had France as its closest coast, it could land", Macron's spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said.

It's not yet clear what Salvini and the new government have in mind, but it's worth remembering that the League's Roberto Maroni was interior minister in 2009 when Italy implemented its nefarious policy of literally pushing boats back to Libya.

"You can't create a precedent that will enable one European country to offload onto other European countries", he said.

Italy had argued that Malta, a tiny island nation that also is an European Union member, was the safest, closest port to the ship.

Italy's premier, Giuseppe Conte, a political novice who backs the 5-Star Movement, on Monday was touring towns in struck by a 2016 quake. If we continue to stand firm, then we will be able to stop the flow of migrants to Europe.

A handout photo made available by SOS Mediterranee shows the sea rescue of a total of 629 migrants.

"In the Italian case, turning this into a political weapon is is clear that Europe must act more wisely, but we can not let these people die at sea", he said. This would mean already exhausted people rescued have to endure four more days travel at sea.

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