Foreign Minister Tonio Borg yesterday told his EU counterparts in Brussels that Libya should receive more direct help in the coming months, particularly to secure its borders.
Malta has a direct interest in a more secure Libya, as most of the irregular migrants reaching its shores depart from the North African country. Malta has received more than a thousand irregular migrants from Libya this year.
According to a report published last week by the Malta-based European Asylum Support Office, more migrants are expected to land in Malta in the coming months if the security situation in Libya fails to improve.
Addressing the Foreign Affairs Council meeting, Dr Borg said that EU expertise should be used to help Libya control migration from Sub-Saharan Africa.
He said Libya needed to better control its borders, particularly those in the desert, and required equipment and financial aid to beef up its security. While recognising the serious security challenges Libya was currently facing, EU ministers reiterated the EU’s readiness to provide further assistance, including a mission to be carried out by the Common Security Defence Policy if appropriate.
This would be done in close partnership with Libya’s new democratic authorities and in coordination with UN Support Mission in Libya and the rest of the international community.
“Establishing secure and stable borders is key to ensuring well managed migration,” the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council concluded.
(Source: Malta Today)