Malta asks Libya to help stem migrants

2013-07-11 19:05
Migrants. (File)

Migrants. (File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Valletta - Maltese Premier Joseph Muscat invited a senior Libyan official to talks with EU President Herman Van Rompuy on Thursday in a bid to get the North African nation's help in stemming the flow of migrant arrivals.

Muscat co-ordinated a last-minute meeting with Libyan Deputy Prime Minister Sadiq Abdulkarim Abdulrahman during an official visit to Valletta by Van Rompuy.

"We managed to break new ground in seeing a long-term solution which we concurred lies in the south. Libya is not part of the problem but must be part of the solution," the Maltese premier said.

Van Rompuy said more surveillance, as well as ways to tackle "the root causes of migration such as poverty, conflict and trafficking," were discussed with Abdulrahman.

"We have to deal with this problem in a humane and at the same time an effective way," he said.

Muscat offered to host future talks between the EU and Libya.

Van Rompuy's trip to Malta came days after the country's botched attempt to deport 45 Somali migrants to Libya. The plan was abandoned following criticism by the European Court of Human Rights and the European Commission.

Hours before his arrival, 202 people were rescued off the Maltese coast, all of whom had left from Libyan shores.

Separately, Italian authorities said they rescued 85 migrants, including a baby, on a dinghy some 53km off Malta.

Each year, tens of thousands of people escaping poverty or persecution try to reach Europe through the Mediterranean, often aboard rickety boats. Italy and Malta have struggled to cope with the arrivals, and complain about insufficient help from EU partners.

"We cannot be left alone as a country. Our citizens feel a sense of abandonment," Muscat said. In the past, he threatened to veto EU decisions to force the bloc into action.

Van Rompuy noted that Malta was receiving €80m from the EU's 2007-13 budget and pledged that "strong financial support" would continue to be offered over the next seven years.

Read more on:    libya  |  malta  |  refugees

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.