Spain in “intense diplomatic talks” over fishing boat with migrants abroad off Libya’s coast

Migrants were rescued in the Alboran Sea by maritime rescue team in Spain (Photo: Carlos Gil/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The Spanish government says is holding “intense diplomatic talks” to resolve the stranding of a Spanish fishing vessel for nearly one week after it took on board 12 migrants, including two children, north of the Libyan coast.

The rescue by the crew aboard the Nuestra Senora de Loreto took place on Nov. 22 in waters under Libyan jurisdiction after a Libyan coast guard boat took another group of migrants from the same vessel.

According to Spain, Libya has not responded to requests to take in the migrants and bad weather has forced the trawler to sail away closer to Lampedusa, an Italian island half way between Tunisia and Malta.

Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo has said on Wednesday that Spain is in talks with Italy and Malta, whose coasts are closer now to the trawler, in order to find “an alternative, speedy and satisfactory solution.”

Rights group Amnesty International on Wednesday joined previous calls by other non-profits and said the migrants “must be allowed to disembark in Europe as soon as possible.”

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