The Malta Independent 15 April 2021, Thursday

Migration: No more excuses, do what you promised, Foreign Minister tells EU

Sunday, 7 June 2020, 09:55 Last update: about 11 months ago

In the past weeks, the EU has been telling Malta to bring to the migrants to shore and that it would take responsibility for some of them. Now, it has no more excuses and we expect it to do what was promised, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs Evarist Bartolo said.

On Saturday night, more than 400 migrants who were being held offshore on four tourist boats for several weeks were allowed to disembark in Malta. The decision came after the migrants protested and the situation on board the vessels became difficult.

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In a Facebook post, Bartolo stated that, "our Libyan counterparts have done their duty as they have kept about 1,500 immigrants coming to Malta from the Central Mediterranean route."

We have worked hard with our Libyan counterparts to curb the number of boats sent to Malta with immigrants, Bartolo said.

Malta, he said, will continue to work with Libya to help it control its Southern borders, an entry point for migrants who are in search of a better life.

"We must work together with the African countries themselves and with the EU to improve life in these countries so that young Africans can build a better life in their own country instead of seeking it by trying to cross the Sahara and the Mediterranean."

He added that, "we must also work with Libya and our partners in the EU to destroy the human trafficking and smuggling business."

In addition, "we need to strengthen the Libyan Coast Guard so that it is well equipped to seize the boats that are sent by these traffickers and smugglers from Libya."

Bartolo stated that there should be a special agreement to regulate legal and regular immigration for jobseekers to other countries.

"We are a government built on the values of democratic socialism and we believe in the values of international solidarity and social justice, however, it is still unrealistic for us to take in more than we can."

 


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