14. Juli 2017 · Kommentare deaktiviert für „Italy proposes Libya pact to curb illegal migration“ · Kategorien: Afrika, Italien, Libyen · Tags:

EurActiv | 14.07.2017

Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti on Thursday (13 July) proposed a pact with Libya to combat human trafficking during a visit to Tripoli to meet mayors of cities affected by the scourge.

“We will make a pact to liberate our lands from traffickers,” Minniti told 13 mayors from south Libya, urging them to mobilise against people smugglers.

Libya is struggling to control its long borders with Sudan, Chad and Niger.

Cities in south Libya have become the first stops for many illegal immigrants’ journeys to Europe.

EU interior ministers on 6 July pledged to back an urgent European Commission plan to help crisis-hit Italy, which has been overwhelmed by a wave of migrants arriving by sea from North Africa.

“We have a moral duty to eliminate this traffic that has caused deaths… and extraordinary and unacceptable pressure on my country,” Minniti said.

Fayez al-Sarraj, leader of the internationally backed Government of National Unity, said “Libya will do its best to relieve the pressure on the Italian coast,” according to a tweet by Rome’s embassy to Tripoli, the only Western diplomatic mission to have reopened in the Libyan capital.

Minniti also visited Tripoli in May to hand over four patrol boats repaired in Italy as both countries fight illegal immigration.

The situation has worsened since the fall of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011, with smugglers exploiting the chaos to increase the flow of illegal migrants to Italy just 300 kilometres away.

Italy has been urging its EU partners to make a “concrete contribution” to dealing with the crisis both in terms of trying to limit departures from Libya and also taking in some of those who survive the perilous journey.

Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni warned last week that Italy did not have “unlimited” capacity to keep taking in people, having already accepted around 85,000 of the 100,000 people who have arrived this year.

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Libya Herald | 14.07.2017

Italian interior minister begs southern mayors to help fight human trafficking

Italy’s interior minister Marco Minneti  in Tripoli today for talks on migrants  proposed a deal with mayors of the south to fight human traffickers.

“We have a moral duty to eliminate this traffic that has caused deaths… and extraordinary and unacceptable pressure on my country,” Minniti said to 13 of the mayors. “We will make a pact to liberate our lands from traffickers”.

This was Minniti’s third visit to Tripoli this year. He came in January and again in May , on each occasion with the rising tide of migrants at the top of his agenda.

He went on to meet Presidency Council (PC) head Faiez Serraj, foreign minister Mohamed Siala and interior minister Aref Khojja.

According to the Italian embassy, Serraj told Minniti  “Libya will do whatever it can to work with Italy to defeat human traffickers and relieve pressure on Italy’s coast.”

Miinniti responded that his country appreciated the PC’s efforts to fight human traffickers. He also praised the PC’s support for the Italian coast guard and its rescue of migrants at sea.

In his turn, Serraj welcomed Italy’s efforts to deal with the influx of migrants and the effect the flow of people had on both Libya and Europe.

The visit comes after complaints by the Italian prime minister Paolo Gentiloni, that the rest of Europe is failing to help Rome handle the 85,000 migrants who have landed in his country this year.

Swedish ambassador Fredrik Florén and his Finnish counterpart Tanka Jääskeläinen have also been in Tripoli today for talks with Serraj and foreign minister Mohamed Siala.

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