Spain rescues 569 migrants crossing the sea | Pakistan Today

Spain rescues 569 migrants crossing the sea

BRUSSELS: Spanish authorities say they have rescued 569 migrants crossing the Mediterranean from North Africa to Spain by boat.
Spain’s Maritime Rescue Service says those rescued Saturday included 264 people in 16 boats in the Strait of Gibraltar, a busy shipping lane with treacherous currents. Two men were pulled from a canoe.
Fair weather and calm seas in recent days have brought an uptick in migrants’ attempts to reach the Spanish coast via the Western Mediterranean route.
Also, Spain’s new center-left government recently announced a softer stance on migration, extending public health care to foreigners without residence permits.
A week ago, Spain took in 630 migrants from the French aid ship Aquarius after Malta and Italy, which were closer, refused to grant the ship access to their ports.
European Union leaders on Sunday will try to find common ground for tackling migrants arriving on Europe’s shores in search of better lives — a growing political crisis threatening to undermine the entire EU project.
The leaders of about 16 countries — more than half the 28-nation bloc — will take part in what is being billed as “informal talks” in Brussels, ahead of a full EU summit on June 28-29, where migration will top the agenda.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the meeting involves “talking with particularly affected nations about all problems connected with migration.”
The arrival of more than one million people in 2015, most fleeing conflict in Syria and Iraq, exposed glaring deficiencies in EU migrant reception capacities and asylum laws. It has fueled tensions among member states, and anti-migrant parties have won votes by fomenting public fears of foreigners.

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