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Open Arms ship with 60 migrants aboard docks in Barcelona

AFP , Wednesday 4 Jul 2018
The Open Arms rescue boat run by the Spanish Proactiva Open Arms charity, arrives to port carrying migrants rescued off Libya, after Italy and Malta, both much closer to the place of rescue, had refused to let it dock in their ports, in Barcelona, Spain, July 4, 2018 (Photo: Reuters)
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A ship belonging to Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms docked in the port of Barcelona Wednesday with 60 migrants rescued off the Libyan coast on board, after Italy refused to take them in.

After a four-day crossing of the Mediterranean, the 60 migrants -- 50 men, five women and five minors including three who were unaccompanied, according to the NGO -- were due to be examined by Red Cross workers.

They will then be transferred to shelters.

They "are doing well given the circumstances, there was no serious medical emergency and they're happy because we told them the government wanted them to come here," said Anabel Montes, the NGO's project manager.

The Open Arms ship arrived in Spain over two weeks after the Aquarius, a French NGO rescue vessel carrying 630 migrants, was given authorisation to dock in the eastern port of Valencia.

It had been refused access by Italy and Malta in what caused an international outcry.

Malta then let another charity rescue boat, Lifeline, dock with 233 migrants aboard.

Faced with growing tensions in the EU over the issue, member states struck a deal on Friday to stem the arrival of migrants.

The accord includes the setting up of secure centres for migrants in the bloc, "disembarkation platforms" outside the bloc and sharing out refugees among member states.

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