Italian Foreign Minister, Antonio Tajani said that they are working together with Libya to find a solution to the illegal immigration crisis, according to the memorandum of understanding signed last January.
Tajani pointed out that Libya is the main port of departure for migrants coming from the Mediterranean.
This came in a joint press conference with his Libyan counterpart, Najla Al-Mangoush, and the European Commissioner for Enlargement Policy, Olivér Várhelyi.
The conference was held on the sidelines of the handover ceremony of the private boat, TSLCG to the Libyan Coast Guard. Tajani added that Libya is “a strategic country in combating immigration and human trafficking.” He stressed the need to strengthen support for transit countries.
Tajani pointed out that the “Libyan authorities have made efforts, but the flows of immigrants are not high, and that Italy is committed to the IRINI and EUBAM Libya to monitor the borders. Italy’s priority is to achieve stability in Libya, and we need greater cooperation with the European Union.”
Days ago, Italian Minister of Parliamentary Relations, Luca Ciriani announced his rejection of Italy being a destination for migrants coming from North Africa, according to the Italian news agency, AKI.
In press statements, the minister said that “Italy cannot be a destination for all migration flows coming from North Africa. As we have repeatedly said to our European partners, and it is an issue that must include all of Europe.”
Ciriani added that “Africa should not be exploited. On the contrary, it needs help. The plan, which the Prime Minister spoke about, comes with Algeria and Libya.”
He noted that “the real tragedy is the people who depart from the coasts of Africa, and then die at sea.”
Libya has been in chaos since a NATO-backed uprising toppled longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The county has for years been split between rival administrations, each backed by rogue militias and foreign governments.
The current stalemate grew out of the failure to hold elections in December, and the refusal of Prime Minister Abdel-Hamid Dbaiba, who is leading the transitional government, to step down. In response, the country’s eastern-based Parliament appointed a rival Prime Minister, Fathi Bashagha, who has for months sought to install his government in Tripoli.