Thursday 09 July 2020, 03:41 AM
'Libyan coastal patrols likely to stop without Italy'
By IANS | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 10/31/2019 7:19:45 PM
'Libyan coastal patrols likely to stop without Italy'

Rome: Without support from Italy, Libyan coastguard patrols could cease, leading to more boat crossings, "tragedies at sea" and a worsened lot for migrants, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio has said.Since the February 2017 accord, the Italian government and the European Union have given the Libyan coastguard boats, training and other assistance, and just 2,722 migrants have landed this year against 107,212 in 2017, Di Maio said on Wednesday.

"Italy is the only effective partner of the Libyan authorities in the fight against human trafficking...pulling out of the accord would cause "political injury", Di Maio told members of the Senate.The government is planning to "improve" an agreement between Italy and Libya on migration, with a focus on improving conditions at the North African country's migrant detention centres, he said.

"The government intends to improve the content of the memorandum of understanding with Libya on managing migrant flows and the fight against illegal immigration, giving special attention to the condition of migrant centres," Di Maio told lawmakers during question-time.Pulling out of the MoU, which is set to be automatically renewed at the weekend unless one of the parties opts out, would cause "political injury", Di Maio said.

The February 2, 2017 memorandum of understanding is due to be automatically renewed at the weekend unless one of the parties opts out, Di Maio said.In order to improve the MoU, especially in respect of the conditions in migrant detention centres in Libya, Di Maio said he would ask for the Italy-Libya Commission to convene.

"We must in particular encourage further involvement of the United Nations , civil society organisations and the international community to improve the help given to migrants rescued at sea and conditions in detention centres in Libya," Di Maio said.

Italy is working with the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, the International Organisation for Migration and the European Commission to improve conditions in detention facilities in Libya, which is not a signature to the international convention on refugees, Di Maio noted.

"Italy continues to support the programme of voluntary repatriations from Libya run by the IOM and UNHCR and the creation of 'humanitarian corridors' to Europe," he said.Italy is the only European country to have organised "direct humanitarian airlifts from Libya of especially vulnerable migrants," Di Maio concluded.

Tags:

Libyan,repatriations,Nations,Di Maio,Commission

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