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Italy's envoy to Libya, Sarraj mull migration

13 giugno 2019 | 17.33
LETTURA: 1 minuti

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A possible surge in boat crossings from war-torn Libya were on the agenda at talks between Italy's ambassador to Libya Giuseppe Buccino and United Nations backed premier Fayez al-Sarraj in Tripoli, the Presidential Council said on Thursday.

"Illegal immigration and efforts by Libya's coastguard to combat this phenomenon were among cooperation topics discussed," said a Facebook post by the Presidential Council.

With favourable sea conditions, thousands of people are preparing to leave Libya as the country is mired in war and floods caused by heavy rains, according to aid groups. Over 800,000 migrants and Libyan citizens could flee the escalating warfare in Libya, Sarraj claimed in an interview in April with Italian daily Corriere della Sera.

Italy is worried at the prospect of an "anomalous" influx of refugees, foreign minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi told reporters in Rome in late April after talks with UN envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame.

At the press conference, Moavero said he had written to the European Union "in recent days" asking if it had made contingency plans for a surge in refugees fleeing the fighting in Libya.

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