Spain said it had plucked more than 200 migrants from the Mediterranean Sea on Sunday as the country´s interior minister headed to Mauritania to try to boost cooperation in the fight against illegal immigration. Spain´s maritime rescue service saved 211 migrants from 21 different boats in the Strait of Gibraltar which separates Spain from Morocco, a spokesman for the service said. They will be taken to the port of Algeciras in southwestern Spain, he added.
The latest arrivals come after the rescue service picked up more than 1,200 people attempting the perilous crossing from Morocco to Spain, which has now surpassed Italy as the number one destination for migrants crossing the Mediterranean by boat.
Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska will meet on Monday with his Mauritanian counterpart in Nouakchott, the capital of the West African country, to “strengthen cooperation in migration matters and the fight against terrorism”, Spain´s interior ministry said in a statement.
During a fact-finding visit to Algeciras on Saturday to learn how police and the Red Cross were coping with the influx of migrants, Grande-Marlaska said it was “a European problem which requires a European solution”.—AFP