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Spanish rescue group rejects taking 107 migrants to Balearic Islands

Spanish rescue group rejects taking 107 migrants to Balearic Islands

A Spanish humanitarian rescue boat carrying 107 migrants who have been aboard for nearly three weeks has rejected the possibility of taking the passengers to a Spanish port in the Mediterranean Sea. Even though it is closer than mainland Spain, it is still too far, Open Arms said on Monday.

The group described Spain’s offer of docking in the Balearic Islands between Italy and Spain as “incomprehensible,” given the distance and the conditions on its boat. The ship is currently docked off the Italian island of Lampedusa, hundreds of miles to the east, AP said.

Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini refuses to let the boat dock in Italy.

Open Arms said on Monday that Madrid and Rome appeared to have struck a deal for the migrants to disembark on Spain’s Mallorca island, but the Spanish government denied reaching any such agreement.