Libya cannot open permanent migrants camps, Mitig tells Italy’s Interior Minister

Italian interior minister holds talks in Tripoli with Ahmed Mitig (Screen Grab)

Italian right-wing Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said he is to put a Libyan proposal on tackling the migration issue before European leaders at a summit on Thursday.

“We will convey to the European leaders that Libya is not a problem but a great opportunity,” Salvini said at a press conference in Tripoli with the Libyan deputy head of the Presidential Council, Ahmed Mitig.

Salvini praised the Libyan coastguard for its work, adding in a now-familiar tone that it should only by the Libyan authorities who patrolled Libyan waters, “blocking the way for NGOs that want to substitute governments and help illegal migrants”.

He said there was a need to safeguard the frontiers to the south of Libya because neither Libya or Italy could be alone in shouldering the burden of illegal immigration.

Mitig said the Libyan programme on migration was based on a partnership between Libya and the European Union.

He insisted that Libya categorically refused the presence of any immigration camps in Libya because that was unacceptable under Libyan law.

“The programme should be Libyan and the participation of European countries should be within this programme,” he said.

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