Italy wants a UN arms embargo on Libya to be lifted to help the North African state battle people smugglers and halt the flow of migrants seeking a better life in Europe, Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said.
Salvini, leader of the far-right, anti-immigration League, told newsmen he did not want to see any more migrant boats leave Libyan shores bound for Italy, adding that European allies needed to do much more to help shut down the sea route.
“My aim is not to have even one boat come here,” he told reporters after talks with Libyan Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteeg.
“The goal is for people who have the right to come to Italy, to come here by plane, preferably in first class.”
More than 640,000 migrants have landed on Italian shores since 2014.
Although the numbers have fallen dramatically in the past year, Salvini has pushed migration to the top of the political agenda, helping propel his party into government.
He said one of his priorities was to see the lifting of the arms embargo on Libya, which was introduced in 2011 as the country descended into turmoil following the downfall of its long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi.
“People smugglers and arms smugglers obviously ignore it and arm themselves as they wish, while the only ones who are blocked are the legitimate authorities,” he said, adding that two Libyan naval boats were stuck in an Italian port because of sanctions.
Maiteeg echoed the call.
“We do not accept that people say Libya is not helping with immigration but at the same time keep in place an embargo that is hindering us.”
Salvini issued instructions on Thursday to Italian commissions responsible for processing migrants’ requests for permission to stay, telling them to be careful not to issue too many permits on the grounds of humanitarian protection.
He noted that these had increased by 28 percent so far this year. “I have personally asked for speed and attention in welcoming those who are really fleeing from war, but also that those who don’t have the right to stay should be blocked,” he said in a tweet, writing the last word in capital letters.
Salvini visited Libya last month soon after taking office and said he would visit the country again shortly, as well as other North African states.
“If we don’t block the flows from the south, it is a problem for everyone, so I hope next Thursday to awaken Europe’s conscience on the need to intervene urgently,” he said, referring to a scheduled meeting of EU interior ministers. “
The situation is dangerous.”
A recent group of new migrants to Italy had been expelled, he said, with the government setting aside more resources for mass deportations.
But he said he wanted humanitarian corridors to be made available for genuine asylum seekers.
“I have always said I am in favour of humanitarian corridors and will continue to be so. I want a regulated, safe and sound immigration process for those who have a right to come to Italy.”
NEPC Trains Producers On Global Competitiveness
The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has trained over 100 local producers in the South-South geopolitical zone on ways to...
Senator Jibrin Warns Against Herdsmen Vigilante In S/East
Fulani Associations in Nigeria have been called upon to shelve the idea of forming herdsmen vigilante groups in South East...
14.3m Nigerians Consume Illicit Drugs – FIDA
The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) has said that out of the 14.3million Nigerians on illicit drugs, 3.6 million...
Church Leaders Move To Restore Peace In Ogoni Communities
Ogoni church leaders under the aegis of Church Leaders and Christian Elders (OCLDE) have waded into the violence currently rocking...
PMB, Dangote, Others For ABU Alumni Compendium Launch
President Muhammadu Buhari and president/chief executive of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote are among dignitaries expected to attend the Ahmadu...
FRSC Set To Clampdown On Motorcyclists, Tricycle Operators
Since it has become difficult to identify motorcyclists and tricycle operators who violate traffic rules, regulations and commit crimes without...
Abba Kyari Has Proven His Mettle In Office -Group
Amid current protests by some groups against some principal aides of President Muhammadu Buhari including his Chief of Staff Malam...
POLITICS15 hours ago
APC Ready To Challenge Some Positions In Zamfara-Party Chairman
NEWS23 hours ago
Yobe Govt To Sponsor 700 Students For PhD, Masters, Others
POLITICS23 hours ago
PDP: Saraki To Lead Peace Move
NEWS13 hours ago
Beauty Queen ‘Raped By Gambia’s Ex-President Jammeh’
CRIME23 hours ago
Apostle Bags 7-yr Jail Over Rape Of Minor
NEWS16 hours ago
I Left No Debt In Zamfara, Says Ex-Gov. Yari
POLITICS10 hours ago
Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial Election : I Contested Against INEC And PDP, Says Akpabio
NEWS13 hours ago
Pastor Seeks Divorce, Alleging Wife Demands `Bribe’ Before Sex