Spain makes new offer to Open Arms
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.
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.
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.