Spain rescues 569 migrants crossing the Mediterranean from Africa

Spain has announced it has rescued 569 migrants crossing the Mediterranean from North Africa by boat.

The Maritime Rescue Service said that of those rescued on Friday night and Saturday morning, 264 people in 16 boats were picked up in the Strait of Gibraltar, which is a busy shipping lane with treacherous currents.

Another 129 were found off the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean.

Libya also announced its coast guard pulled the bodies of five migrants from the sea and picked up 185 survivors off its western coast.

And the Danish Maersk Line, the world’s leading shipping container company, said one of its vessels rescued 113 migrants off the Italian coast on Saturday.

UNITED COLORS OF BENETTON SLAMMED FOR USING MIGRANTS IN AD CAMPAIGN

It comes just a week after Spain took in 630 migrants from the French aid ship Aquarius after both Malta and Italy, which has a new hardline anti-immigrant government, refused to grant the ship access to ports.

Fine weather in the Mediterranean, coupled with Spain’s new softer stance on migration, has seen an uptick in the number of people attempting to cross into Europe from North Africa.

Malta meanwhile has refused port to German aid group Mission Lifeline, which says it is carrying 234 migrants aboard its vessel and is currently adrift in international waters.

On Saturday, the Maltese armed forces provided humanitarian supplies to the boat, but the country’s prime minister tweeted that Malta had “no responsibility” in the rescue and that the vessel "should move from its position toward their original destination (in Italy) to prevent escalation" of the situation.

ITALY VOWS TO EXPEL FAR MORE MIGRANTS, BUT IT WON'T BE EASY

Italy has also turned away the boat, with Matteo Salvini, the country’s new hardline immigration minister saying that those on board will “only see Italy on a postcard”.

European Union leaders are due to meet on Sunday to try to find consensus on the migrant crisis. 

Europe has seen a huge influx of migrant arrivals since 2015, mostly from war-torn Syria and Iraq, and the influx of migrants has seen a rise in anti-immigration parties across the continent.

On Saturday, Sebastian Kurz, the Austrian chancellor, has suggested his country will reintroduce controls on its Italian border if Germany were to close its doors at their Austrian border.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is under severe pressure in her homeland, with Horst Seehofer, her interior minister, threatening to bring down the coalition government unless a European-wide solution on migration is found.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Chris Irvine is Senior News Editor at Fox News. His Twitter can be found @chrisirvine86