Libya’s Foreign Minister Strongly Criticizes the European Immigration Policy
Libya–On Friday, the Libyan Foreign Minister Najla Al-Manqoush slammed the system of preventing migrants from reaching the European shores, claiming that it has failed to address the core causes of the problem, and has thus served only the interests of the European Union countries.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs spoke during a video call at the Mediterranean Dialogues Conference, hosted by the Italian government in a session entitled ‘Dealing with Migration’. She said, ‘Please.. do not point your fingers at Libya, and do not portray us as a country that mistreats immigrants.’
‘We are tired of getting off topic…and all these are just superficial solutions. It’s time to clarify the problem and confront it instead of…repeating it over and over again ,’ she added. The European Union – which has been chastised in the past for supporting internal Libyan attempts to stop migrants crossings – has now backed up the country’s coast guard, which regularly intercepts ships transporting migrants.
Many migrants , who survived these harsh conditions, stated that they are placed in detention centers, and in deplorable conditions, or held for ransom. The European Union indirectly funds detention camps through charity organizations. In her speech, the Libyan minister did not directly address the accusations leveled against her country’s authorities of mistreatment of migrants.
Each year, thousands of migrants and refugees from Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia attempt the perilous Mediterranean Sea through Libya , escaping war and poverty in the hopes of finding a better life in Europe.
The UN Migration Agency reported that so far from 2021, more than 1,300 migrants have died trying to cross the Mediterranean from Libya and Tunisia to Italy and Malta.The European Union has sent 455 million euros to Libya since 2015, to support the Libyan Coast Guard, strengthen the union’s southern borders, and improve conditions for migrants.
Al-Manqoush said that Libya needs a better police system on its southern border to control the flow of migrants and tackle the roots of the problem, adding that the solution of simply funding Libya will not suffice . She also described previous initiatives as being offered ‘only in order to serve the EU agenda and the EU perspective’.