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Brussels- GNA Foreign Minister, Mohamed Siala stressed that issues of illegal immigration, smuggling, border security, and transnational organized crime are challenges facing both the African Union and the European Union, and relate to the livelihood of our citizens and economies, therefore require unifying our efforts and adopting realistic policies and mechanisms. In his speech at the European-African ministerial meeting in Brussels, he underlined the principles of policies of the Libyan state in managing the crisis, represented by the principle of national sovereignty which is not protected by laws and legislations in force. He urged for supporting Libya to protect its southern common borders with Libya’s neighbourhoods which represent the southern borders of Europe. He said by controlling the borders we could make headways in managing the crisis and its serious repercussions. Siala called for adopting security, humanitarian and developmental comprehensive vision. Siala also reviewed successes made by Libya at the level of Libya-European cooperation in terms of curtailing the flow of immigrants across the Libyan coast compared to past years. He cited the percentage of 94% success despite modest resources of the Libyan coast guard which was able to rescue 12,835 illegal immigrants, besides many voluntary return flights, totaling 16,120. However, he said Libya’ detention centres have about 750,000 illegal immigrants. Siala stressed that addressing the issue of illegal migration should not be only focused on the security dimension alone but security and stability can only be materialized through EU support to the source countries of migration and help them, build strong economies and create investment to create good job opportunities, saying that Libya could play a pivotal role in this respect due to its investment in many African countries.
Source: Libya News Agency