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Libya rejects EU-proposed migrant camp on its soil

Libya rejects EU-proposed migrant camp on its soil


Libya has rejected a European Union proposal to build a migrant camp on its soil to control migration through the Mediterranean.

The Libyan Foreign Affairs Minister Mohamad Taher Siala expressed their position on the matter at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe meeting in Vienna on Thursday.

“Such a project would mean that the European Union is refusing to assume its responsibilities and placing it on our shoulders,” he said.

He also pointed out to the civil war in Libya which he believes makes the proposal “far from the realities on the ground”.

Several European Union countries, including Austria and Hungary, have been pushing for EU deals with North African countries to send back rejected asylum-seekers as a way of dealing with the worst migration crisis since 1945.

Hungary’s populist Prime Minister Viktor Orban recently said the EU should build “a large refugee city” on the Libyan coast to process asylum claims of migrants outside the EU.

A growing number of people are attempting the treacherous sea journey from Libya or Egypt, after the closure of the Balkan migrant trail route leading from Greece to western Europe.

More than 140,000 have made the journey to Italy on overcrowded boats since the start of this year, latest figures show.

Over 3,500 migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean in 2016 so far.

In March, the bloc signed a landmark agreement with Turkey to curb the flow toward Greece, but the deal looks shaky after a coup attempt in July.