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Migrants: Italy approves Libya mission; France proposes summit at end of August

ROME/PARIS, JULY 28 -Premier Paolo Gentiloni’s government
on Friday approved a resolution for an Italian mission of
support to the Libyan coast guard. Gentiloni stressed that the use of Italian vessels to support Libya would not entail “an enormous deployment of big feels and air squadrons”.

“It can give a significant initiative to support Libya sovereignty, it is not an initiative against Libyan sovereignty,” he pointed out. “We have accepted the request to support the Libyan coast guard”.  In fact,  the Italian mission  should be considered “a step forward in Italy’s contribution to the Libyan authorities’ capacity to take the initiative against traffickers and reinforce their capacity to control their borders and national territory”. He added: “it is a piece of the
path of stabilization of Libya and Italy feels it a duty to participate”.

In the meanwhile, the European Union has announced 46 million euros ($53 million) in funding to help boost Libya’s border and coast guards, as part of moves to stem the flow of migrants leaving the country’s shores heading for Europe, while French President Emmanuel Macron has proposed holding a four-way summit of the leaders of France, Italy, Germany and Spain late in August, sources said Friday. The meeting will feature a session devoted to Chad and Niger to address the migrants issue.

In an effort to provide meaningful alternatives to a growing number of refugees and other migrants making increasingly dangerous journeys to Europe, UNHCR recently appealed for US$421.2 million. The number of refugees and migrants arriving in Europe from Africa through Libya is rising and, with it, the risks they face crossing the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea. This year, as of last week, 2,360 refugees and migrants died or went missing in the Mediterranean, many others are believed to have died trying to cross into Libya. (@OnuItalia)

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