Migrants wait to embark a ferry to the mainland, in Lampedusa, Italy August 19, 2019. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

(Reuters) – Spain and Italy appear to have struck a deal that will see the 107 migrants stranded in the Mediterranean for 18 days disembark at the Spanish port of Mallorca, Spanish rescue ship Open Arms said on Monday.

Open Arms described the decision as “incomprehensible,” given the deteriorating conditions on the ship and their proximity to the Italian island of Lampedusa.

For more than two weeks, the migrants have been left floating off the Italian coast, caught between a tug of war between Italy’s far-right interior minister Matteo Salvini’s tough line on immigration and the EU´s initial reluctance to find a solution.

Open Arms said on Monday that disembarking in Mallorca would add another three days what has been a trying situation.

“If an agreement has indeed been reached, it’s essential for Italy and Spain to take responsibility for ensuring, by providing the necessary means, that these people finally disembark at a safe harbor,” the organization said in a statement.

When contacted by Reuters on Monday, a senior official with the Spanish government declined to comment.

Reporting by Jose Elías Rodríguez and Andrés González, writing by Ashifa Kassam

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
source: reuters.com

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