The Head of the EU Border Assistance Mission in Libya (EUBAM Libya), Natalina Cea, and the Head of EU Affairs Department of the Tripoli-based Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Abdulrhaman Khamada, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation yesterday.
The signing ceremony, held at the Foreign Ministry’s Tripoli premises, was attended by the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Taher Albahour, and by the Head of the European delegation to Libya, Nicola Orlando.
The Memorandum aims at strengthening the cooperation and coordination between EUBAM Mission and Libyan institutions in managing and securing Libyan borders and in fighting against border crimes and terrorism.
EUBAM reports that besides reinforcing the legal framework of EUBAM in Libya, the Memorandum enhances the partnership between the Mission and the Libyan relevant authorities with a view to facilitating the delivery of technical assistance, capacity building and training by the Mission. This partnership also includes support for enhancing cross-border cooperation with Libya’s neighbouring countries, including in the Sahel.
Tahel AlBahour affirmed “We welcome our cooperation with EUBAM and the European Union. The MoU we sign today is another important milestone that will allow us to deepen our cooperation with EU and its Member States on border management and security and our joint fight against cross-border serious crimes and terrorism.
Abdulrhaman Khamada stated: ‘‘We welcome this important step and express the hopes and aspirations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for further support and joint cooperation and coordination in the terms of providing the necessary assistance to the Libyan authorities involved in integrated border management and security”.
Natalina Cea stated “I am very pleased with the excellent result achieved today, which reiterates the outstanding cooperation we had within the Joint Committee established with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs last year. This Memorandum of Understanding has the capacity to enhance our partnership and pave the way for long-lasting, sustainable assistance to the Libyan authorities engaged in managing and securing Libya’s borders.
I take this opportunity to thank EUBAM staff and the colleagues from Brussels that have facilitated and supported the Mission in this process.
Natalina added “The (MoU) represents an important step forward in the ongoing efforts to tackle security challenges the country faces. With increased support and coordination, authorities can work together, increasing effectiveness in managing Libyan borders, as well as to engage at wider regional level.”
EU ambassador Nicola Orlando stated “This MoU is a crucial new step in the partnership between Libya and the European Union. It will significantly enhance our joint capacity to confront some of Libya’s greatest challenges while seeking to strengthen Libya’s control of its own borders, fight terrorism and other forms of cross-border serious crimes, including migrant smuggling and the trafficking of human beings.
EUBAM is a remarkable European endeavor that can now seek to operate at full capacity. It can be a powerful tool to boost Libya’s ability to manage and secure its borders, starting with those in the south. This Memorandum opens a new era of joint efforts. It will allow us to accelerate and expand our cooperation, while ensuring that the highest standards in training, capacity building and operations are always met. I congratulate our Libyan partner and EUBAM for this important achievement on which to continue building in the months and years to come. “