Home Affairs Minister Manuel Mallia has proposed the opening of an office in Libya where migrants can apply for asylum. The office would be under the auspices of the European Union.

The proposal was made when Dr Mallia had talks in Valletta with the Dutch Minister of Immigration, Olandi┼╝ Fredrik Teeven.

Dr Mallia stressed that the best way to control the influx of migrants was through more assistance by the EU to Libya, notably in its coast guard to turn back the boats. 

The EU, he said could also provide an office in Libya where migrants could apply for European asylum, thus learning about whether or not they would be accepted without making the dangerous Mediterranean crossing and without having to pay criminal rings to do so.

The two sides discussed proposals on immigration which would be discussed at a meeting of the EU Council of Ministers on Monday.

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