CATANIA, Sicily – The Latest on Europe migrants (all times local):
The new Spanish foreign minister has said that by taking in the migrants aboard a rescue ship refused by Italy and Malta, Spain is looking to push European Union leaders to address the bloc's migration policies later this month.
"Spain has made a gesture that aims to trigger a European dynamic to stop looking away, allowing one (EU member) to cope with the problem while the rest of us pass the buck," Borrell told Ser radio late on Monday.
He said the decision to offer a docking port in the eastern city of Valencia had been a personal and direct move by the country's new president, the Socialist Pedro Sanchez.
Borrell also said that the issue will be taken by Spain to the council of EU heads of state or government on June 28-29.
Aid group SOS Mediterranee Sea says it is transferring some of the 629 migrants rescued at sea to Italian ships to continue to the journey to Spain where the prime minister has offered safe harbor.
The Aquarius, the rescue ship operated by SOS Mediterranee, has been stuck at sea 35 nautical miles off the coast of Sicily since Saturday when Italy refused permission to dock and demanded Malta do so. Malta refused.
SOS Mediterranee spokeswoman Mathilde Auvillain said Tuesday that some passengers were being transferred before the journey "for security reasons" because of deteriorating weather conditions on the voyage to Valencia, Spain. Many passengers had been on decks and are being moved to ships of the Italian Navy and Coast Guard.