The Libyan Interior Minister, Khalid Mazen, said there are about 700.000 illegal immigrants in Libya, adding in a meeting with the British Defense Secretary, Ben Wallace, and Secretary for Middle East and North African Affairs, James Cleverly, in Tripoli that what Libya is going through due to the phenomenon of illegal immigration is challenging.
Mazen said there are securing, economic and political challenges facing Libya in dealing with the illegal immigration crisis, which requires the assistance of European countries since they are the target countries for immigrants and Libya is just a crossing destination.
Mazen also said the Libyan Interior Ministry looks forward to having technical support in fighting terrorism, human trafficking and illegal immigration, especially to the desert patrols’ general management to secure the borders as per international agreements signed with Europe and the European Union’s Commission.
He reiterated that Libya would be a stable country with the efforts of the Government of National Unity and the Interior Ministry with the help of neighboring countries, adding that the strategic position of Libya requires support for stability, “which is a priority for the Interior Ministry with assistance from the United Kingdom that has also been affected by the influx of immigrants.”
Meanwhile, Cleverly said the UK supports stability and holding elections in Libya, while Wallace said the UK is working with Libya on anti-terrorism and illegal immigration training programs as Europe and the UK have both been impacted by the flow of illegal immigration.