Tripoli, 30 November:
Libya’s border security was the focus of talks between Prime Minister Ali Zeidan and the European Union’s Ambassador to Libya Peter Zsoldos in Tripoli on Thursday.
The meeting was also attended by Defence Minister Mohamed Al-Barghathi, members of the Foreign Ministry and several EU officials.
Border security and management remains a major issue in Libya at present, with widespread smuggling of weapons taking place in the south as well as across the border into Egypt, where many of the weapons make their way to the Sinai Peninsula on the border with Gaza.
“Libya’s border security is very important for the EU”, said Zsoldos. “The European Union is currently looking at how to help Libya secure and manage their borders and is ready to provide expertise and technical consultancy, equipment and devices needed for that.
In the past few days, the EU mission has also been holding extensive talks with the ministires of interior, defence, foreign affairs as well as the customs department.
Every year, thousands of illegal migrants take advantage of Libya’s porous borders and proximity to the continent to make the perilous sea voyage to Europe, whilst hundreds die in the attempt. In August it was estimated that around 13,500 illegal migrants have perished in the Mediterranean since 1998.