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Hundreds of migrants stranded on board the Aquarius rescue vessel in the Mediterranean will be transferred to Italian ships and taken to Spain, French charity SOS Mediterranee said Tuesday.

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who took office just over a week ago, has given instructions for the boat to be admitted to the eastern port of Valencia, his office said in a statement.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Facebook that Spain's offer meant Italy was "no longer alone" and now it was time to make European Union asylum rules "more fair for everybody".

Italian newspaper Repubblica reported government sources said Mr Salvini's plan is to only let migrants enter Italian waters if they are on Italian, military or commercial boats.

Malta has always refused large numbers of migrants to dock at its ports, saying it already accepts more refugees per capita than Italy.

Spain has now said it will let the ship dock in the city of Valencia and will give "safe harbour" to the people who are on board.

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But the government of Malta also refused, and as a result the Aquarius was left with no place to dock.

Spain's decision to take in the ship was hailed by Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini as a "victory" for his government's hardline immigration policy.

Rescue ships like the Aquarius pick migrants up from those unsafe boats.

On Sunday, Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat accused Italy of "violating worldwide law" for implementing a similar policy.

The ship was carrying 629 migrants rescued within the Libyan search and rescue region, making Lampedusa its nearest safe port.

Salvini tried to defuse tensions and in a tweet said that "Spain wants to denounce us, France says that I'm 'nauseating.' I want to work calmly with everybody but with a principal: #firsttheitalians". But the new Italian government, keen to show its racism is honest, would not allow the ship to dock. The ship said it had been ordered by Italy's coast guard coordination center late Sunday to remain 35 miles off Italy and 27 miles from Malta, and there it remained Monday.

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On Friday of last week, it was the first vessel to reach the coast of Libya after a new populist and openly anti-immigrant government had taken office in Italy.

Echoing similar calls by the United Nations and the bloc's biggest member state Germany, Schinas added: "For the commission there is first and foremost a humanitarian imperative, we are talking about people".

Finally, 629 migrants rescued on Saturday night to Sunday in worldwide waters against Libya will go to Spain, to port of Valencia, as confirmed this Tuesday at around six in morning coordinator of Doctors Without Borders aboard Aquarius.

One of their leading politicians declared this a turning point in Europe's migration crisis, with other countries more willing to take in refugees who cross the Mediterranean.

Salvini, 45, has continued with his anti-refugee rhetoric since taking control of the interior ministry, asking on Friday for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to defend Italy, which he says is "under attack from the south".

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