Libya: Our vision does not include any proposal for the settlement of migrants in transit countries

Statement by Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, head of the Libyan government of national unity, ahead of the opening of the International Conference on Migration and Development being held in the Italian capital.

The head of Libya’s national unity government, Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, said on Sunday that his country’s vision “does not include proposals on the settlement of irregular migrants in transit countries”, calling for his country’s international support in this matter, “both politically and financially, and in terms of security”.

Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh’s statements were made ahead of the “International Conference on Migration and Development” which began on Sunday in the Italian capital, Rome, according to a statement from the “Our Government” platform (affiliated with the government).

Libya is a transit country for irregular migrants, particularly from countries in sub-Saharan Africa, who wish to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe in search of better living conditions, while their countries are in the throes of economic crises and political conflicts.

“We welcome the determination displayed by Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni to cooperate on the issue of irregular migration, and we call for the establishment of a balanced partnership with the Commission of the European Union”, added Dbeibeh.

And to emphasize that tomorrow, Monday, the first flights between Tripoli and Rome would be made, with the resumption of air links between the two countries after ten years of interruption.

“The resumption of air links between the two countries paves the way for the reopening of airspace with other countries, and we will work to open an air link between Rome and Benghazi (eastern Libya) soon,” added the Libyan Prime Minister.

On July 17, the Libyan Interior Ministry announced that border guards had rescued dozens of irregular migrants who had been “deported by Tunisian authorities to border areas inside Libya”.

A video released by the ministry showed the migrants, including women and children, in an empty desert area, with some saying they had been left without food or water.

It also shows the transfer of migrants from the desert to a reception center, before the Libyan border guards announced the next day that they would be handed over to the International Organization for Migration for their voluntary repatriation to their country.

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