EUROPEAN Union leaders pledged support for Libya yesterday in a bid to stem the flow of refugees trying to cross the Mediterranean in death-trap people-trafficking boats.
European Council president Donald Tusk said people-trafficking from Libya to Italy was a major source of “irregular arrivals.”
“Loss of life and continuing migratory flows of primarily economic migrants on the central Mediterranean route is a structural challenge and remains an issue of serious concern,” a Brussels summit statement read.
Fayez Sarraj, prime minister of the UN-convened Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, had been lobbying the EU and Nato in in the Belgian capital ahead of the summit.
“As the number of migrants rises, the economic and social fabric of southern Libya is placed under very significant strain,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
“Financial contributions are necessary to bolster that southern border,” Mr Sarraj added. “We seek the European Union’s support in that endeavour.”