Perhaps this will be the end of the wandering for Aquarius. Spain agreed on Monday (June 11th) to host the ship carrying the 629 migrants rescued off Libya, whose fate was at stake between Malta and Italy, both of whom refused. to let him dock. It would nevertheless take several days to reach the Iberian coasts, since it is currently 700 nautical miles (1,300 kilometers) from the coast.
But Monday night, the NGO SOS Mediterranean, which charters the Aquarius, said on Twitter that the ship was “still on stand-by between Malta and Italy”, and was waiting for an order from the center of coordination of relief Rome to go to Spain. It has been supplied with food by the Maltese Navy, but these provisions will not be enough for a trip to Spain.
“The President of the Government, Pedro Sanchez, has given instructions for Spain to honor international commitments on humanitarian crisis and announced that it will host in a Spanish port the ship Aquarius in which there are more than 600 people abandoned their fate in the Mediterranean, “says the statement of the Spanish government presidency.
The ship was, before the announcement of Pedro Sanchez, in the center of a standoff between the small Mediterranean island and Italy, which both decided to close their ports despite international calls to accommodate these migrants. “VICTOIRE”, rejoiced on Twitter the new Italian Minister of the Interior, Matteo Salvini, after the announcement of Spain.
The European Commission called in particular for a “quick settlement” of this fight in the Mediterranean, as well as a spokesman for the German government, who called for the “humanitarian” duty and responsibility of all parties.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been more direct in urging Malta and Italy to “immediately” allow the disembarkation of these 629 migrants, including seven pregnant women, 11 infants and children. isolated minors.