The Malta Independent 25 September 2018, Tuesday

Spain says 300 Aquarius migrants want asylum in France

Associated Press Monday, 18 June 2018, 15:22 Last update: about 4 months ago

A top Spanish official says that more than 300 migrants who are in Spain after their rescue boat was rejected by other European governments are requesting to be granted asylum in France.

Spain's Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo told Spanish radio Cadena Ser on Monday that half of the 630 migrants who arrived at the Spanish port of Valencia on Sunday on convoy of ships, including the rescue boat Aquarius, expressed such a desire.

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She called the agreement with France "an example of cooperation" within the European Union.

The Aquarius completed a 1,500-kilometer (930-mile) journey from Sicily to Valencia, ending a weeklong ordeal for the 630 people rescued from the Mediterranean Sea, only to be rejected by Italy and Malta.

Spain's new center-left government granted the migrants 45-day stays to sort out their legal status.

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