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Aquarius standoff: As Malta and Italy squabble, migrants pray on stranded ship

Aquarius standoff: As Malta and Italy squabble, migrants pray on stranded ship

The row has triggered global concern about the migrants' plight.

"To politely raise one's voice pays off", Salvini said on Monday.

Both Italy and fellow European Union member Malta have refused to accept the migrants who are now heading for the Spanish port of Valencia after the new socialist government in Madrid agreed to take them in.

He said there was a moral "obligation to help to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe". On Monday new president of Spanish Government, socialist Pedro Sanchez, offered option Valencia.

Medical workers aboard a migrant rescue ship stranded at sea by Italy's new populist government say food on the boat will run out by day's end.

Spain answered the call, opening the port of Valencia to the vessel, Lucia Benavides reports for NPR from Barcelona.

The Aquarius ship at sea.

Muscat tweeted his thanks to Sanchez "for agreeing to accept the Aquarius after Italy violated worldwide law and caused an impasse". We will have to sit down and discuss how to prevent this from happening again.

Spanish Foreign Minister Joseph Borrel said late Monday that "Spain has made a gesture that aims to trigger a European dynamic to stop looking away, allowing one (EU member) to cope with the problem while the rest of us pass the buck".

Spain stepped in to help after Italy - which has been on the front line of the migration crisis in Europe - and Malta refused to allow the Aquarius to land despite strong pressure from the worldwide community.

The Aquarius was denied the right to dock in Italy and Malta.

US Federal Reserve raises interest rates
The move reflects the economy's resilience, the job market's strength and inflation that's finally nearing the Fed's target level. All those countries have vowed to retaliate against any USA tariffs with their own penalties against US goods.

Echoing similar calls by the United Nations and the bloc's biggest member state Germany, Schinas added: "For the commission there is first and foremost a humanitarian imperative, we are talking about people".

Hundreds of migrants stranded on a rescue vessel in the Mediterranean will be taken to Spain with the help of two Italian ships, a charity said on Tuesday, after deteriorating weather conditions sparked fears for their safety.

Salvini refused to back down.

"My aim is to guarantee a peaceful life for these youths in Africa and for our children in Italy", Salvini said, using the Twitter hashtag "We are shutting the ports".

"Denying disembarkation to desperate people rescued at sea can not be considered as a victory: it is the wrong response to the lack of responsibility and burden sharing between member states", said Aloys Vimard, MSF's project coordinator on board Aquarius.

The French organisation said that 123 unaccompanied minors, 11 small children and seven pregnant women are among those brought on board.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said Sunday that Rome had sent two patrol ships with doctors on board "ready to intervene and ensure the health of anyone on board the Aquarius who might have the need".

The boat rescued the migrants in six different operations off Libyan shores on Saturday morning. Italy shouldn't have to shoulder the burden by itself, he added, when other European countries aren't doing their fair share.

"The people are frightened, they're very fragile, vulnerable and traumatized by their journey at sea, which would last another 48 hours", tweeted MSF coordinator Aloys Vimard, who is on board the boat.

The Italian government, and others like it including Britain's, want hundreds of people to drown to deter others from trying to flee to Europe to escape war, poverty and climate change.


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