Italy strikes migrant crisis deal with Libya

Italy and Libya have struck a deal in an effort to stop migrants setting out for Europe from Libyan shores.

After meeting Libyan leader Fayez al-Sarraj in Rome, Italian prime minister Paolo Gentiloni said the pair had signed a bilateral agreement to increase co-operation and fight migrant trafficking.

Italy has also pledged training and equipment to bolster Libya's coast guard fleet.

The agreement comes a day before the start of a European Union summit, during which leaders will discuss ways to reduce the amount of dangerous journeys migrants take from Libyan shores.


Italy strikes migrant crisis deal with Libya


Image Caption: Fayez al-Sarraj and his Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni sign a bilateral agreement

Mr Gentiloni described his deal as "just a piece" of a wider plan that will require EU funding.

He said: "If we want to give real strength and legs to managing migration flows, then there needs to be an economic commitment by the whole of the EU."

Mr Sarraj said he would not allow foreign vessels in Libya's territorial waters unless his state receives aid to build up its navy.

Meanwhile, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini admitted questions over Libya's waters had created a "complicated situation on the ground".

In recent years, Italy's coast guard has coordinated the rescue of hundreds of thousands of migrants in the Mediterranean near Libya.

According to the International Organisation for Migration, at least 5,083 people died in the Mediterranean Sea in 2016.

Ahead of Friday's summit in Malta, European Council President Donald Tusk said clamping down on smuggling rings "is the only way to stop people dying in the desert and at sea".

He said: "(It is) the only way to gain control over migration in Europe. The goal is within our reach.

"Europe should and will stand by Italy in sharing responsibility."



Add Comment

all comments

  Other news

more
Carmarthenshire mum-to-be gets armed escort to hospital

Carmarthenshire mum-to-be gets armed escort to hospital..

29-May, 12:00

Armed officers who spotted a speeding car in west Wales discovered a...

US lawmakers seek to reverse Trump’s $110bn arms deal with Saudi Arabia

US lawmakers seek to reverse Trump’s $110bn arms deal with Saudi Arabia..

29-May, 07:48

Top Republicans and Democrats in Congress have called for the...

Emmerdale's Lucy Pargeter introduces twin baby daughters Missy Mabel and Betsey Maggie and reveals terrifying moment at birth when babies 'weren't breathing'

Emmerdale's Lucy Pargeter introduces twin baby daughters Missy Mabel and Betsey Maggie and..

29-May, 11:24

In an exclusive shoot and interview with OK! Magazine, Lucy Pargeter...

Improving wheat yields by increasing grain size, weight

Improving wheat yields by increasing grain size, weight..

29-May, 11:48

Larger, heavier wheat kernels -- that's how associate professor Wanlong...

Former Hillary Clinton aide writing memoir

Former Hillary Clinton aide writing memoir..

19-Apr, 18:16

A former Hillary Clinton aide and speechwriter is writing a book about...

Marathon Oil and Community Health skid; MoneyGram soars

Marathon Oil and Community Health skid; MoneyGram soars..

14-Mar, 17:18

Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily on Tuesday: MoneyGram...

Seoul: North Korea fires ballistic missile off east coast

Seoul: North Korea fires ballistic missile off east coast..

04-Apr, 19:24

South Korea says North Korea has fired a ballistic missile into the...

O'Reilly apologizes for jest about Maxine Waters' hair

O'Reilly apologizes for jest about Maxine Waters' hair..

29-Mar, 09:40

Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly apologized Tuesday for saying he had a...