EU countries pledge more funds to help Libyan coastguards stem surge of migrants

The Topaz Responder ship run by Maltese NGO Moas and the Italian Red Cross takes part in a rescue operation of migrants and refugees off the Libyan coast in the Mediterranean Sea. Photo: AFP / Andreas Solaro

France, Germany and the EU’s migration chief have pledged more money for Libya’s coast guard and increased efforts to help Italy cope with a surge of migrant arrivals from Africa, according to a report by the Associated Press.

The French Interior Ministry said in a statement Monday that it also will work on a “code of conduct” for aid groups working in the Mediterranean, AP added.

The EU migration commissioner and German, French and Italian interior ministers held a crisis meeting Sunday night after Italy pleaded for European help. Some 10,000 migrants were rescued from the sea in recent days, AP indicated.

The officials promised additional money and training for the Libyan coast guard and to find ways to reinforce Libya’s largely lawless southern border, which smugglers exploit to shuttle African migrants to Europe, AP also said.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed, according to AP.

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