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Migrant crisis: opposition to EU plan for centers in Libya

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

LIBYA – (BBC) – The Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) foreign minister says his country opposes a European Union plan to set up assessment centres for migrants outside the EU.

The plan was drawn up by EU leaders in June as Italy called for more controls on migration.

But Mohamed al-Taher Siala told an Austrian newspaper that all North African countries reject the idea.

Instead, he said, Libya was working with its southern neighbours to reinforce their common borders.

In June, the EU proposed “regional disembarkation platforms” in North Africa, where the UN and other agencies could screen those who have a genuine claim to asylum in Europe.

Those not eligible would be offered help to resettle in their home countries.

The plan was to break the business model of people-smuggling gangs by processing refugees and migrants outside the EU.

The move followed complaints from Italy, which has long been the main arrival point for boatloads of migrants from African countries fleeing poverty and violence.

According to the United Nations, more than 1,700 migrants have died trying to cross to Europe in 2018.

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