Madrid said Saturday it has accepted an offer from France to take in migrants from the Aquarius rescue ship following a turbulent week surrounding the stricken vessel.

The boat, which is due to arrive in Spain on Sunday morning with more than 600 people on board, has been the heart of a major migration row between European Union member states.

“The French government will work together with the Spanish government to handle the arrival of the migrants”, Spain’s deputy prime minister Carmen Calvo said in a statement.

“France will accept migrants who express the wish to go there” once they have been processed in Valencia, the statement said.

Chartered by a French aid group, the vessel rescued 629 migrants including many children and pregnant women off Libya’s cost last weekend.

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