Maltese Foreign Minister Says Cooperation with Libya Prevented Humanitarian Crisis

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On Friday, Maltese Foreign Minister Evarist Bartolo stated that cooperation between Malta and Libya has prevented a huge humanitarian crisis in Europe. He claimed that about 7,000 asylum seekers in Europe had been stopped from landing in Malta.

During a meeting of the Med Forum 2020, Bartolo noted that there are urgent and long-term issues that still need to be resolved regarding the migration crisis. Italian Home Affairs Minister Luciana Lamorgese was also present for the meeting.

“Thanks to the good relations and the strong cooperation with Libya, a further 7,000 people intercepted by the authorities would have reached our shores”, he added.

He urged the EU to increase its support to Libya so that it is able to protect its borders and ports while fighting organised crime and human trafficking. Bartolo called for boosting cooperation with Africa, enhancing economic resilience, creating jobs, and offering asylum seekers a future in their own country.

The Foreign Minister confirmed that 2,256 asylum seekers had landed in Malta in 2020.