MADRID, SPAIN - Eleven migrants rescued by a trawler last week have been handed over to the Maltese coast guard and will soon reach port in Malta, a Spanish aid group said Sunday.
Proactiva Open Arms says on Twitter that the Spanish trawler Nuestra Senora de Loreto radioed them to say the migrants had been transferred.
Earlier Sunday the Spanish government told the trawler that it had permission to dock in Malta, putting an end to its weeklong wait in the open sea.
Malta, along with Italy, had initially refused to accept the boat because it had rescued the migrants in Libyan waters. The trawler rescued 12 migrants last week. One migrant was evacuated for health reasons on Friday.
European Union countries have been sharply at odds over who should take in migrants from North Africa. So far this year the International Organization for Migration says 107,216 migrants have arrived in Europe and 2,123 others have died or gone missing in their dangerous journeys across the Mediterranean Sea.