Statement by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini following her meeting with Libyan Special Envoy Nuri Betelmal
"Today I met with Dr Nuri Betelmal who was recently appointed by Prime Minister Abdullah Al Thinni as a Special Envoy to engage with the EU on migration related issues.
"This meeting took place in the context of a series of contacts I have had in recent weeks with different Libyan actors, and others, to address the serious problems caused by human trafficking and smuggling in the Mediterranean and the need for a comprehensive approach to address this urgent humanitarian problem.
"The meeting with Dr Nuri Betelmal was constructive. It gave me the opportunity to share the EU's willingness to co-operate on the migration issue in a spirit of partnership. This common problem, including disrupting the business model of those involved in human smuggling, calls for shared responsibility and action.
"This is why it is important to work together with all Libyans to address a challenge which affects the whole country. The meeting was also useful to restate that the planned EUNAVFOR MED operation will focus on breaking up the smuggling networks and that it would be conducted in accordance with international law and human rights, and that its engagement and coordination with a broad variety of international and bilateral actors will be fundamental to its future.
"We will continue to work in this direction in close cooperation with the EU Member States and the UN, and to engage with different Libyan actors in these efforts."