The Address | Benghazi – Libya
MALTA – Malta’s call for an EU humanitarian mission in Libya is being considered and the issue will be discussed at the EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting in the coming days, the European Commission said.
Earlier this week, Minister Evarist Bartolo called on the EU to launch a humanitarian mission that would ‘incentivise’ migrants to stay in Libya rather than face the dangers of a sea crossing.
Replying to questions by The Malta Independent on Sunday, a spokesperson for EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson said the proposal was being taken into consideration.
The Commission has also urged Malta and Italy to work together to find solutions, while at the same time acknowledging the pressure the two countries are facing. The Commission said it can help with migrant relocations, but it can only do this after these migrants are saved and disembark in one of the Member States.
Concerns have increased over the past days as the number of boats leaving Libya’s shores has increased. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the situation has worsened as several countries, including Malta and Italy, have closed their ports, leaving migrants without a port of safety in which to disembark.