By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 13 December 2014:
Foreign Minister Mohamed Al-Dairi was in Brussels this week to participate in meetings called by . . .[restrict]the UNHCR to address protection of immigrants, with a particular focus on the dangers faced by immigrants making hazardous sea voyages.
According to the UNHCR, “many of those who feel compelled to take to the sea, despite the risks involved, are persons of UNHCR’s concern – refugees, asylum-seekers, stateless people and others.”
The year 2014 has seen a record number of deaths of immigrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean to reach European shores, with a total of 3,419 recorded. A majority of those making the crossing embark from Libya. The UNHCR reported that three times as many people have made the crossing this year than in 2011 at the height of the Libyan revolution.
At the meetings, under the theme “Protection at Sea”, Al-Dairi met on the sidelines with a number of officials, including UNHCR High Commissioner Antonio Guterres, High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein, and representatives from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Al-Dairi said Libya needed European support to address the problems of illegal immigration in Libya, saying that the situation is exacerbated by the current security conditions in the country. He also discussed ways the European community could aid the Libyan government in its assistance of displaced people in Libya.
Furthermore, Al-Dairi met with a number of other European officials and expressed the Libyan government’s appreciation for the international community’s support of Libya. Al-Dairi’s presence and the meetings that took place are seen as a further measure of recognition of the legitimacy of Abdullah Al-Thinni’s government and the elected House of Representatives. [/restrict]