Italy's deputy prime minister claimed "victory" over a decision to refuse the docking of a migrant rescue ship carrying 629 people.
The Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Monday afternoon that his country would give "safe harbor" to the Aquarius after both Italy and Malta refused to let the ship disembark on its shores. Sanchez said the ship will instead dock in Valencia.
Matteo Salvini, leader of the right-wing Lega party and the new deputy prime minister said in a tweet that victory had been achieved.
According to Reuters, Salvini added in a press conference that raising Italy's voice on migration had paid off and although the standoff had been resolved by Spain's "good heart," the European Union could not rely on similar gestures going forward.
Salvini had revealed the new government's stance against immigration on Sunday by refusing to allow the search and rescue ship "Aquarius," which is carrying 629 migrants, to dock in an Italian port, saying Malta was nearer the ship's location and that it should accept the vessel.
Malta refused, promoting a diplomatic rift with Italy and leaving the migrant vessel in limbo.
In a statement released with Danilo Toninelli, the minister in charge of the Italian coastguard, Salvini said Malta "cannot continue to look the other way when it comes to respecting precise international conventions on the protection of human life."
"That's why we ask the government in Valletta to take in the Aquarius in order to offer first aid to the migrants on board," the statement, widely reported by Italian media, said.