The Maltese President, George Vella, expressed his hope that the upcoming Libyan government would be able to control the levels of illegal immigration to Europe.
In a speech on Malta’s Republic Day, President Vella expressed his deep regret that “he does not yet see an end in sight to the phenomenon of illegal immigration.” He noted at the same time that the recent positive developments in Libya, including the ceasefire agreement, and the resumption of dialogue may finally achieve stability in the country.
The President stated that he hopes that the political dialogue in Libya will conclude with the selection of a new government, that will stop human traffickers. President Vella criticized the member states of the European Union, “because they did not assist Malta in facing its challenges. Solidarity is not just words spoken at conferences,” he said.
In turn, the Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela, welcomed the positive developments in Libya after an agreement was reached to finance the Libyan Coast Guard to fight traffickers.
The Director of the European Regional Office at Amnesty International, Nils Muiznieks previously warned that cooperation with Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) on immigration makes Malta complicit in the violation of human rights.
“No one should be returned to Libya, due to the extremely serious and well-documented human rights violations there,” Muiznieks told the Times of Malta.