Libya: We Will Not Act As Europe’s Policeman to Stop Migration

Omar Keti, the Undersecretary of the Libyan Foreign Ministry.
Omar Keti, the Undersecretary of the Libyan Foreign Ministry.

“Libya will not act as policeman for Europe to confront illegal immigration,” said Omar Keti, the Undersecretary of the Libyan Foreign Ministry.

In press statements to Italy’s news agency NOVA, Keti added that Libya is “coordinating with Italy to develop a Mediterranean strategy on migration through clear mechanisms.”

He indicated that the migration crisis is “complicated and has many aspects, and requires study and participation from all countries. For us, it is a matter of national security.”

Keti pointed out that Libya has been “calling for establishing real development inside migrant origin countries, in sub-Saharan Africa. We have called for the creation of job opportunities with projects funded by the destination countries of Europe, without placing migrants in countries of transit.”

According to NOVA, he stated that Libya “considers itself as a transit nation for migrants trying to reach Europe. European countries must cooperate strongly to put an end to illegal immigration flows. This should be done away from opportunism. The migration issue is sensitive, and may be exposed to corruption and illegal actions by some countries.”

Last year, the Foreign Minister, Najla Al-Mangoush said Libyans “will not act as guards for the borders of Europe,” adding that, “Libya will not be a transit point for suffering and persecution against our African brothers.”

During a tour of the borders with Niger, the FM called on neighbouring countries to “urgently form regional mechanisms to combat smuggling, illegal migration, and human trafficking.”

“In Libya, we have suffered greatly from the armed groups crossing our borders, and being employed by the warring parties. We have repeatedly called on neighbouring countries to help us, and reach a solution that protects us and protects them from war.”

Al-Mangoush called on European countries to adhere to, and fulfil their agreements signed with Libya. Especially since Libya has assets close to half a billion dollars allocated to protect borders.

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