Spain’s new prime minister has ordered authorities to allow a rescue ship carrying 629 migrants to dock in the eastern port of Valenica after the boat was refused by Italy and Malta.
A statement sent Monday by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s office says “it is our duty to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe and offer a secure port for these people.”
Amid the political dispute, The Aquarius, a rescue ship belonging to the SOS Mediterraneee charity, has been stuck in the Mediterranean Sea with its passengers, including 123 unaccompanied minors and seven pregnant women. Medical workers say food onboard the ship is going to run out Monday night.
The government statement said Spain wanted to comply with its international responsibilities on humanitarian crises.