EU pushed to support new measures to help stem migrants flow from Libya

A LIbyan coast guard stands on a wooden boat where more than seven hundred migrants were sailing in to flee Libya, during a rescue operation in the Mediterranean sea, about 13 miles north of Sabratha, Libya, Monday, Aug. 29, 2016. Thousands of migrants and refugees were rescued Monday morning from more than 20 boats by members of Proactiva Open Arms NGO before transferring them to the Italian cost guards and others NGO vessels operating in the zone.(AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

The European Commission is urging European leaders to endorse sweeping measures to help stop tens of thousands of desperate people from leaving Libya in search of better lives in Europe, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday.

The commission said in documents published Tuesday that the leaders should “deploy the full range of EU missions and projects” to help Libyans manage their borders and protect migrants, according to the AP.

Conflict-torn Libya is a main departure point for African migrants trying to reach Europe via Italy. More than 181,000 people attempted the dangerous central Mediterranean crossing last year. About 4,500 died or disappeared, the AP indicated in its report.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in a statement that “too many people are still dying in the Mediterranean.” He added: “First and foremost, stability in Libya and the region as a whole is required.” AP concluded.

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