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European Commissioner for Migrants: EU prepares for arrival of migrants from Libya

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

BRUSSELS –  There is no indication of imminent increases in migration flows from Libya, but the European Union must be prepared, European Commissioner for Migrants Dimitris Avramopoulos said on Sunday.

“We are working with Libya and with neighboring countries precisely to avoid migrants being stranded in Libya,” explained Avramopoulos, “we are all concerned about what is happening in Libya”.

“The European Union and its Member States have already called on all parties to immediately cease military operations in the country,” the commissioner recalled, “we are interested in preventing the situation from getting even worse and this is exactly why EU is acting on all fronts”.

However, Avramopoulos warned that “not allowing the landing [of migrants] is not a solution”, alluding to the closure of ports by Italy.

“On this point I would like to be very clear,” he stressed, “the landing is governed by international law and the laws vary according to the territory and the state to which the rescuing ship belongs.”

“When search and rescue operations take place in the territorial waters of a Member State, the landing must take place, precisely,  in a Member State”.

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