Migrant crisis: Europe, African states agree on plan to tackle human trafficking

No Easy Passage to Europe through Irregular Migration, Group Warns

No Easy Passage to Europe through Irregular Migration, Group Warns

The interview came ahead of a meeting in Paris between four leading European Union countries (France, Germany, Italy and Spain) and key African countries in the migration crisis (Libya, Chad and Niger).

The French president, Emmanuel Macron, who hosted the meeting, said afterwards that the issue was a "problem that concerns us all and that can not be solved without us all".

The President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, urged the EU countries to push for establishing refugee camps inside Libya.

Leaders at the meeting will seek accord on a migration action plan, notably on tackling the economic model of people traffickers.

The Head of the UN-proposed government's Presidential Council, Fayez Al-Sirraj, has stated that Libya's never-changing policy is opposed to any efforts aiming at resettling illegal migrants in the country.

In July the number crossing to Italy dropped by 57% compared with June - partly, officials say, because Italy has tightened co-operation with Libyan security forces.

There has been a small increase in people travelling from Morocco to Spain - a point of concern for the Spanish government, which is dealing with sensitive public opinion in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in the country this month.

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"The dangers they face in the North African country, which is in a state of conflict, make many migrants so desperate to willingly take the grave risk of boarding rickety boats to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe", it added.

"At the core of it, it's all about fighting illegal migration", German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a news conference.

The foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, visited Tripoli last week, but the bulk of the diplomatic work on reaching a political solution in Libya has been left to the former colonial power, Italy, or to France.

The migrant crisis has put Paris and Rome at odds.

The seven heads of state or government, who included Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, said Libya's political stalemate was a central obstacle to resolving the crisis that has seen almost 1.5 million people arrive in Europe since 2015, according to the International Organisation for Migration.

"In Libya, for example, there are up to 1 million migrants trapped in transit where they are exposed to hash living conditions and widespread human rights abuses".

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