Italian foreign ministry denies AP report about paying Libyan militias to block migrants

The foreign ministry on Wednesday denied an Associated Press report that Rome backed an accord between Tripoli and Libya militia previously implicated in migrant trafficking in order to stop migrants crossing the Mediterranean, ANSA reported.

“The Italian government does not negotiate with traffickers”, foreign ministry sources told ANSA, issuing a “strong denial” of the report.

“There is no accord between the traffickers and the Italian government”, the sources said.

On Tuesday AP said: “Under a deal backed by Italy, Libya’s struggling government in Tripoli has paid militias implicated in trafficking to now prevent migrants from crossing the Mediterranean to Europe, one reason for a dramatic drop in the traffic, militia and security officials told The Associated Press.”

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