Italy ap­plauds Libya’s stand on mi­grant res­cue zone

Muscat Daily - - REGION -

Rome, Italy - The Ital­ian gov­ern­ment on Sun­day wel­comed Libya’s de­ci­sion to bar for­eign ves­sels from a stretch of water off its coast, as both coun­tries strug­gle with a mi­grant cri­sis that has en­gulfed Europe in re­cent years.

The com­ments from Ital­ian For­eign Min­is­ter An­gelino Al­fano came as a sec­ond non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tion an­nounced it was sus­pend­ing op­er­a­tions in the area in re­sponse to the Libyan move.

The Libyan gov­ern­ment ‘is ready to put in place a search and res­cue zone in its wa­ters, work with Europe and in­vest in its coast­guards’, Al­fano told La Stampa daily on Sun­day. “This sends a sig­nal that the bal­ance is be­ing re­stored in the Mediter­ranean.”

Libya’s navy last week or­dered for­eign ves­sels to stay out of a coastal ‘search and res­cue zone’ for mi­grants.

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