Spain offer safe harbour close to Gibraltar to Open Arms – Open Arms captain deems it too far for passengers safety

epa07778970 One 107 migrants satnds next to a drying laundry on board the Spanish rescue vessel Open Arms, near Lampedusa, Italy, 18 August 2019. A day after 27 minors and ill migrants were evacuated, the rescue vessel is still stranded off coast of 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

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Spain’s acting PM Pedro Sánchez, offered the port of Algeciras (Cádiz) to the Open Arms ship.

However, an NGO spokesman has rejected the offer claiming that the situation is of “humanitarian emergency” and that, after 17 days at sea, they are not in a position to face such a long journey. “We do not accept Spain. We cannot put the security and physical integrity of immigrants and crew together. We need to disembark now,” he insisted.

In a tweet, the Captain said “After 26 days of mission, 17 waiting with 134 people on board, a court order in favor and 6 countries willing to host, do you want us to sail 950 miles, about 5 more days, to Algeciras, the farthest port in the Mediterranean, with an unsustainable situation on board?”

Precisely, the emergency situation on the ship is what has led the Spanish Government to take this initiative. “The inconceivable response of the Italian authorities, and specifically of its Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini, to close all its ports, and the difficulties exposed by other countries of the Central Mediterranean [alluding to Malta], have led Spain to lead again the response to a humanitarian crisis, “explains a statement by the office of the acting Presidency of the Government.

Via ElPais

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