Spain fulfilled its commitments by accepting Aquarius migrant ship — deputy prime minister

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Spanish Deputy Prime Minister, Carmen Calvo, on Thursday, said by taking in the Aquarius rescue ship with over 600 migrants on board, Spain was fulfilling its obligations as a European country.
On Sunday, Italy refused to accept Aquarius, carrying migrants rescued from the Mediterranean.
French President Emmanuel Macron harshly criticised the decision, angering the Italian side, while Rome summoned the French ambassador as a response.
“We are acting as a part of Europe.
“But this is not an issue between Spain and Italy or France, this is Spain’s own issue, and an obligation we have to commit to being a part of Europe,’’ Calvo said at a news conference in Valencia.
The minister also stressed that this was a humanitarian crisis, and Spain was “sticking to its obligations under international law.”
The minister added that some of the Aquarius ship migrants, including pregnant women, would be sent to humanitarian aid centres, while the others would be transferred to centres for migrants.
Italy closed its ports to the Aquarius refugees, saying that Malta was the closest and safest port to accommodate the vessel.
The Maltese authorities, in turn, said the issue was beyond their jurisdiction and also denied entry to its ports.
The Spanish authorities then said they were ready to let the Aquarius dock in its eastern port of Valencia.
“Some will then be taken directly to migrant detention centres (CIE)  and other to humanitarian aid centres depending on their condition,” she said, adding that the priority was to address the humanitarian crisis and then deal with the legal status of each migrant.
“We are worried about the unaccompanied children, and the people who have been victims of some sort of crime. Such as those who have been trafficked with the purpose of sexual exploitation,” she said.




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