By Sami Zaptia.
London, 23 August 2018:
Libya will not accept the return of illegal migrants rescued in the Mediterranean Sea. The statement came yesterday from Mohamed Siala, Foreign Minister of the Tripoli-based Presidency Council led by Faiez Serraj.
Referring to what has been discussed on the return to illegal migrants to the north African country from which they came, Siala was quoted by the Media Department of the Foreign Ministry as saying
‘‘Libya does not accept this unjust and illegitimate measure. We have more than 700, 000 immigrants. But they must be returned to the countries of origin from which they came.
Libya is a transit country and has shouldered a lot and the international community has to shoulder its responsibilities by pressuring the countries of origin to re-admit their nationals and meet the expense of returning them to the countries of origin.
The statement from Tripoli’s Foreign Minister comes after Italy’s far-right Deputy Prime Minister, Matteo Salvini, threatened to return 177 migrants stranded onboard Italian Coast Guard ship Dicotti back to Libya unless the rest of the European Union opens its ports and shares the burden of taking some of the illegal migrants.