SPAIN and Malta have opened their doors to offer a safe port for a rescue ship currently stranded in the Mediterranean with 629 migrants on board.
The vessel, which has 120 children and seven pregnant women on board, was left sitting in the sea for two days after Italy refused permission for it to dock at its ports.
The refusal from Italy's new interior minister came as part of tough anti-immigration promises made by the country's new government.
Spain's socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has now given instructions for the boat to dock in Valencia, but Sky News sources say it is likely the boat will first dock in Malta within hours.
In a statement issued this evening, the Spanish government said that people had been “abandoned to their fate in the Mediterranean” and that Spain would “comply with its international commitments in matters of humanitarian crises”.
Both Italy and Malta had previously refused to allow the ship to dock in their countries - leaving it floating in limbo off the coast of Sicily for almost two days.
The vessel was left stranded with only enough food for one day leaving those on board in mortal danger.
Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini turned away the Aquarius rescue ship after promising to take a tougher stance on migration during Italy's recent general election.
Mr Salvini said Malta should take the vessel - which was carrying 123 children and seven pregnant women.
However, Malta initially said it had nothing to do with the rescue operation