Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi (R) and Libyan Prime Minister Abdulhamid Al Dabaiba shake hands at the end of their meeting at Chigi palace, in Rome | Photo: EPA/GREGORIO BORGIA
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi (R) and Libyan Prime Minister Abdulhamid Al Dabaiba shake hands at the end of their meeting at Chigi palace, in Rome | Photo: EPA/GREGORIO BORGIA

The head of the Libyan national unity government, Abdulhamid Al Dabaiba, made an official visit to Rome on Monday in which Italian Premier Mario Draghi reiterated that "rapid and determined EU action is needed" regarding migrant flows.

The head of the Libyan national unity government, Abdulhamid Al Dabaiba, travelled to Rome on an official visit Monday, along with seven ministers from his government. During the visit, Italian Premier Mario Draghi once again brought up the topic of migrants, and said that Italy "will continue to do its part in terms of resources and training ability, but determined and rapid action by the European Union is needed."

He said based on a proposal by Italy, migration will once again "be the focus of political attention at the European Council in June."

Dabaiba thanked Italy and the EU "for all their efforts and the great support they have given us, and the great work of the Italian Coast Guard."

"The problem of migration isn't solved only only in the Mediterranean area but by going to the roots, where migration starts from, and it is not only a Libyan, Maltese or Italian issue but a shared one," he said.

Financial aid from Italy will continue

Draghi said European action in terms of migrants "will also be a way to structure support to Libya in its work of rebuilding the country."

"Italy intends to continue to fund assisted voluntary repatriations and humanitarian evacuations from Libya," he said.

And on the topic of living conditions in the North African country, the Italian premier said that "it is a moral duty but also in Libya's interests to ensure full respect for the rights of refugees and migrants."

In a recap of the meeting, Draghi said migratory and humanitarian issues are a priority for Italy as well as Libya. "We looked at control of the Libyan borders, including the southern ones; the fight against human trafficking; aid to refugees; humanitarian corridors; and development in rural communities," he said.

Lamorgese met with Libyan counterpart, 'EU role important'

Italian Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese met with her Libyan counterpart Khaled al-Tajani Mazen at the Viminale, the Italian interior ministry. She told him Italy is committed to supporting the Libyan national unity government "in the difficult path of consolidation of Libyan institutions, including in the field of security".

A statement released by the Italian interior ministry said that in light of meetings that took place in Tripoli on 19 April, the two ministers "shared the need for more efficient management of the migratory issue and reiterated the importance of the growing role of the EU in partnership efforts with countries of origin and transit for migrants".

They also confirmed the need to ensure full respect for migrants' human rights and in particular the rights of those most in need of international protection and those who are most vulnerable.

"The shared strategy with the European Union must consider among its priorities the fight against criminal organisations of migrant traffickers as well as how it will be necessary to incentivise efforts to improve cooperation between the two interior ministries including in the field of security policies and the fight against terrorism," Lamorgese said.

 

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