Spain has denied that it agreed with Italy to let migrants from the rescue ship Open Arms disembark at the port of Mallorca, Reuters reported.
The statement comes after reports about a deal between Italy and Spain that would see the 107 migrants stranded in the Mediterranean for 18 days disembark at the Spanish port of Mallorca.
On 18 August, Spain reportedly offered the boat to dock at the port of Algeciras, but the non-governmental organisation Proactiva Open Arms, to whom the boat belongs, said that the humanitarian situation on the ship was dire and that the passengers and crew could not make the five-day journey to the Spanish port.
#ULTIMAHORA Recibimos #OpenArms orden del centro de coordinación marítimo España de dirigirnos a #Algeciras puerto a más de 5 días de navegación y solicitamos confirmación de esta información, mientras atendemos a las 107 personas a bordo tras 17 días de espera. pic.twitter.com/xEzEDnUN3m— Open Arms (@openarms_fund) August 18, 2019
According to the Spanish government statement, the charity did not respond to its offer to dock at the closest Spanish port.
Before that, the Open Arms organisation sent an urgent request to the authorities in Lampedusa, requesting that they let the boat dock, saying that the rescued migrants on board were in critical condition psychologically.
A total of 107 rescued migrants, mostly from Africa have been anchored off the coast of Italy for 18 days onboard the Open Arms boat, unable to disembark due to Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini banning them from doing so.