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Libya in focus of EU foreign ministers

Libya’s Prime Minister Fayez Seraj has asked the European Union to provide his government with ships and radars to help its forces stop the smuggling of migrants across the Mediterranean, according to diplomatic sources in Brussels.

They said EU foreign ministers would review the “shopping list” at a meeting of foreign ministers in Luxembourg, 3.04.2017, however they will be hardly be able to provide the requested equipment.

The EU is supporting the government of Prime Minister Fayez Seraj, but it also expects in return to co-operate on curbing the hight tight of African migrants from Libya’s coasts for Europe, mainly to Italy.

“We have received a formal request and it’s under consideration,” a senior EU diplomat said. “We need it to be linked to the work we are doing on borders to ensure it is going to be used effectively.”

The EU is already training the Libyan coastguard to intercept smuggler boats and return them to the north African country. Last year, Libya was the main embarkation point for people seeking to reach Europe via Italy, a dangerous route that the EU fears will grow busier as spring brings calmer seas.

The diplomats say ministers would also discuss the role of Russia supporting Libya’s marshall Khalifa Haftar, who is seen as a strong man by the majority of  Libyan 20 biggest tribes, and a number of African leaders.

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