Published: Tue, June 19, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Spain says France to take in migrants, World News & Top Stories

Spain says France to take in migrants, World News & Top Stories

Vessels chartered by an assortment of European NGOs have plied the waters off Libya for three years, rescuing migrants from leaking boats and transporting them to Sicily.

Following a standoff between Italy and Malta, both of which refused to let take the migrants in, Spain stepped in to allow the rescue vessel Aquarius to dock in Valencia.

Their arrival marked an end to a more than 800-mile journey that began off the coast of Libya where the migrants were rescued by the ship Aquarius.

Those onboard will receive immediate medical attention and psychological assistance from the Red Cross, after which they will be registered by Spanish authorities and transferred to reception centres.

A team of 2,320 people, including 1,000 Red Cross volunteers has been mobilized to assist the migrants in Valencia.

The insistence of the new Italian government, led by the League and the Five Star Movement, to curb the arrival of migrants and asylum-seekers has already rocked relations with France, which on Saturday offered to help Spain take those landing in Valencia.

"It is our duty to help avoid a humanitarian catastrophe and offer a safe port to these people, to comply with our human rights obligations", he said earlier this week. It originally carried 629 migrants but some were later moved onto two Italian vessels escorting it to Spain.

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Italy's new interior minister, Matteo Salvini, thanked Spain for taking in the migrants who reached Valencia and said he wished the country would take in "66,629 more".

France - who had angered Rome by branding it irresponsible over the vessel rejection - offered Thursday to welcome Aquarius migrants who "meet the criteria for asylum".

Mr Salvini says it is unfair that countries on the frontline of the European Union have had to carry most of the burden of handling the migrant influx.

Applause could be heard coming from the ship as it docked.

Sanchez with the migrant-friendly stance he adopted since acquiring his post two weeks, and the new socialist government in the country, has promised them free healthcare and says it will investigate each asylum case.

"Malta's job market would have been able to absorb these people and indeed I will be the first to admit that the country needs more foreign workers", he said in an interview on ONE Radio.

"They tell us about their experience", she said, before adding that one young boy from Sudan talked to her about football.

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The rest of the migrants are due to arrive on another Italian navy ship, the Orione, later today.

Countries have an obligation to host and protect asylum-seekers "according to global law for refugees but also according to the principles of humanity", As Sy said.

Mr Abalos said: "Spain will act with sensitivity and at the same time within the law, and with a message to Europe that it doesn't have an immigration policy up to the challenge at hand".

Spain's maritime rescue service said it saved a further 933 people and recovered four bodies from dozens of migrant boats attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea over the past two days.

They will be taken to an Italian port that has yet to be assigned, sources said.

In a government statement, Spain expressed its gratitude "to President Macron for his cooperation" and insisted that "this is the framework of cooperation with which Europe must respond" to the migration crisis.

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