World

Shunned by Italy, migrants at sea begin arriving in Spain

Shunned by Italy, migrants at sea begin arriving in Spain

"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", Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said earlier this week.

Referring to the costs, Salvini added: "Seeing that we pay, we'll take in who deserves to be taken in".

"Those of us who are smaller guarantee rights to refugees, but we say there isn't room for those who aren't escaping war".

France said Saturday it would welcome Aquarius migrants who meet the criteria for asylum.

Le Pen praised Italy for saying "it's finished" accepting boatloads of migrants.

The refusal by Italy and Malta to allow the Aquarius to enter their ports has created a row between European Union members over how to handle immigration. The Aquarius docked Sunday in Valencia. Country leaders are expected to discuss the policies surrounding the issue at their European Council meeting June 28-29.

In Spain the migrants were granted authorisation to remain in the country for 45 days while each individual's legal case is studied.

The odyssey of the migrants was vividly narrated by MSF Head of Emergencies.

These arrivals are in addition to 629 people who had been on board the charity boat Aquarius, which was denied entry by Italy and Malta and accepted by Spain. The trip to the Spanish port took almost a week.

After spending seven days at sea, 630 migrants arrived at the Spanish port of Valencia Sunday morning.

Far fewer come to Spain, but the numbers are rising fast.




High waves and winds had forced the convoy to take a detour on its 1,500-kilometer (930-mile) voyage to Spain.

The rescue ship Aquarius came in four hours later carrying another 106 migrants.

"I have mixed feelings", Noguera told The Associated Press as the first boat arrived.

A baby was born later during the grueling Mediterranean journey.

The Aquarius, operated by Doctors Without Borders, pulled into the port of Valencia.

Officials in white protective suits and masks greeted the migrants as they debarked and took them to a tent where police started identifying them and processing their information.

The Dattilo, the largest ship owned by the Italian Coast Guard, was the first to dock.

Under blue skies, migrants danced and sang, their excitement captured in footage released on Twitter by SOS Mediterranee, which operates the rescue vessel with Doctors Without Borders (MSF).

Men, women and children cheered as they arrived at Valencia, where they were met and welcomed by over 2,000 officials, medical workers, translators and volunteers. Spanish authorities have said they will examine the migrants case-by-case to see if they qualify for asylum according to the country's regulations.

Reports state that the "Italian government will promote development initiatives in Africa, to stem immigration to Europe" Salvini said.

The Aquarius originally picked up about 630 migrants - including pregnant women and children - from six rubber dinghies in the Mediterranean Sea off Libya.