TRIPOLI--Italian Minister of Interior Marco Minniti said on Saturday that European countries will next week provide Libya with 35 million euros (41.18 million U.S. dollars) to support southern security.
The vast southern Libya is used as a crossing point for illegal immigrants desperate to reach Europe, due to poor security conditions.
During a meeting on Saturday in the Libyan capital Tripoli, the Libyan UN-backed Prime Minister, Fayez Serraj, told Minniti that "despite successes achieved in the immigration file, the number of illegal immigrants outside shelters remains large and we need more cooperation, particularly in securing the southern Libyan borders through which these immigrants flow."
According to a statement by the media office of the prime minister, Minniti praised efforts of the Libyan Coast Guard to rescue illegal immigrants in the Mediterranean.
The number of immigrants rescued by the Libyan Coast Guard this year is around 80,000, the statement said.
Serraj stressed the need to focus more on the pursuit of trafficking networks in Libya, Africa and Europe. "It was agreed to establish a joint chamber to combat smugglers and traffickers, consisting of representatives of Coast Guards, illegal immigration agencies, Attorneys General, and Intelligence Services of both countries," the statement revealed.
Serraj announced on Friday that both the United States and Germany agree to support Libya to secure its southern borders, in order to stop illegal immigration. Serraj also confirmed that his recent talks with Washington and Berlin were "very productive and positive."
Moreover, Serraj held a meeting on Saturday with the committee investigating into a recent report about immigrant slave trade in Libya.
CNN published a report recently of auctions in different parts of Libya, where stranded African migrants were sold as slaves for as little as 400 dollars.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK