Malta 'extremely worried' by situation in Libya
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Malta 'extremely worried' by situation in Libya

Tonio Borg with British Foreign Secretary William Hague this morning

Tonio Borg with British Foreign Secretary William Hague this morning

Malta is ‘extremely worried by what is taking place in Libya’ Foreign Minister Tonio Borg said this morning.

Speaking to journalists before an EU foreign Ministers’ meeting in Brussels, Dr Borg said the worry was based on fears of a civil war and the resultant instability of the region.

The EU, he said, should respect the territorial integrity of Libya, whatever happened in the future.

“We should strive for stability because the situation is extremely fluid," Dr Borg said.

What he feared what the possible creation of a separatist state within Libya which also might not be a friend of Libya.

Dr Borg also expressed fears that the instability would lead to a wave of migrants, as had followed the unrest in Tunisia. This, he said, should be a worry not just for Malta and Italy, but Europe as a whole.

Europe, he said, should not adopt a paternalistic or condescending attitude towards any country in North Africa and let their own people decide their destiny, he said.

According to international reports, Benghazi, Libya’s second city, fell to protesters last night and they work working to set up a committee of government.

Fighting was also reported in parts of the capital, Tripoli and Sayf Gaddafi, the Libyan leader’s son, warned of a civil war.

Some 60 people are reported to have died in Tripoli this morning.

VIDEO -

http://tvnewsroom.consilium.europa.eu/story/index/story_id/16155/media_id/38341

Europe shouldn't export democracy to Libya - Italy

Meanwhile, the Italian Foreign Minister said that Europe should support national reconciliation in Libya but should not export its democratic model.

He too expressed fears that the country could split in two.

Franco Frattini called for a stability and development plan for the region similar to the "Marshall Plan," the US-led reconstruction programme for post-World War II Europe.

He also urged Libya to draft a new constitution but he warned against imposing Europe's views on democracy on the region.

"Europe shouldn't intervene, Europe shouldn't interfere, Europe shouldn't export. Europe should encourage all the peaceful processes of transition," Frattini said.

Saying he was "very concerned about the idea of dividing Libya in two," Frattini called for a national and peaceful reconciliation process in the country after the government violently repressed anti-government protests.

"We Europeans are very concerned about the migratory flows impact, that would be one of the consequences of the turbulences," he said.

He called for an end to violence that has centred on the second city of Benghazi, while backing Libya's "territorial integrity".

"I'm extremely concerned about the self-proclamation of the so-called Islamic Emirate of Benghazi.

"Would you imagine having an Islamic Arab Emirate at the borders of Europe? This would be a really serious threat," he said.

Libya has threatened to respond to European criticism by stopping its cooperation on illegal immigration, a matter of immediate concern for Italy, an entry point for African migrants seeking a better life in Europe.

Italy and oil-rich Libya, a former Italian colony, signed a friedship treaty in 2008 to further strengthen economic ties and fight clandestine immigration via the north African country.

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