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Foreign Minister: EU must focus on Libya

George Vella. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi

George Vella. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi

Foreign Minister George Vella said it was frustrating that the European Union was dealing with the Ukraine problem but not focusing enough on the worsening situation in Libya.

Dr Vella gave a keynote speech at the Inter-Parliamentary Conference on Common Foreign and Security Policy and on Common Security and Defence Policy in Valletta on Friday.

He said that it took quite some time to convince the EU countries from the north to acknowledge that the bloc was not only facing a problem in Ukraine but also in Libya.

Libya will eventually cry out for stability, reconciliation, reconstruction

He said that the threats facing the EU from the south were migration, jihadism, terrorism and instability.

Dr Vella remarked that many delegates at the conference had highlighted the situation in the western Balkans but only a few had mentioned the southern Mediterranean.

He said it was important that the EU give much more importance to the southern region, especially Libya, with the situation there deteriorating.

He acknowledged that migration was a problem when dealing with Libya but said the country will eventually cry out for stability, reconciliation, and most importantly, reconstruction. He said that if Libya was not helped, the EU would continue to feel the effects of its instability, affecting not only the southern Member States but the whole of the EU.

Dr Vella acknowledged that EU countries were absolutely divided on the internal aspect of migration, but said that the bloc had to support legal migration as a safety valve for young migrants to be given a chance to survive and see what democracy is all about.

He said the EU had shown a certain amount of unanimity on the external aspect of migration, which he commended.

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