Spain makes new offer to Open Arms

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Spain has made another offer to the Open Arms migrant rescue vessel situated off the coast of Italy to dock at the nearest Spanish port.

It’s after the boat with more than 100 people on board rejected a plan to dock in Algeciras because it was too far away.

The Open Arms charity had said earlier on Sunday the vessel could not go to Algeciras as it was a long trip that would risk the wellbeing of the migrants.

The Spanish government has not received an answer, the Spanish prime minister’s office said.

Open Arms continues stranded with 107 migrants on board
Agents from the Italian Health Ministry (L) chat with people in charge of Spanish vessel Open Arms after the medical examination carried out on board the boat with 107 migrants, near Lampedusa, Italy,. EPA-EFE/FRANCISCO GENTICO

An Open Arms spokeswoman confirmed to Reuters that the boat still had not answered Spain’s proposal.

The migrants, most of whom are African, had been picked up off the coast of Libya in the past two weeks and have been waiting to disembark on the southern Italian island of Lampedusa.

Open Arms continues stranded with 107 migrants on board
Two paramedics take care of a migrant woman on board of Open Arms vessel off Lampedusa island, Italy, 18 August 2019. A day after 27 minors and ill migrants were evacuated, the rescue vessel is still stranded off coast Italy as it waits to reach a safe port in the Mediterranean sea, despite the Lazio Regional Administrative Court accepted its appeal, suspending the ban on entry into Italian waters ordered by Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini. EPA-EFE/FRANCISCO GENTICO

Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has ordered his officials not to let them disembark. However, he made a partial concession on Saturday by allowing 27 minors to leave the boat, saying he had only agreed to this at the insistence of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

Meanwhile, migrants have been jumping off the boat and attempting to swim ashore in the latest sign of desperation in the face of Italy’s refusal to allow it to land. Scuffles too have been breaking out on board.

 

Via Reuters/ ANSA/Sky News/ Euroactiv

 

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