Italian Interior Minister calls for establishment of joint control room involving Libya, Tunisia


(MENAFN) In an effort to confront the escalating migration crisis within the European Union, Italian Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi has called for the establishment of a joint control room involving Libya and Tunisia. The proposed initiative aims to oversee and implement measures facilitating the voluntary repatriation of illegal migrants to their respective home countries. Both Libya and Tunisia serve as major entry points for migrants and asylum seekers embarking on perilous journeys to Europe, often aboard overcrowded fishing boats, a consequence of the upheavals following revolutions in both nations.

The trilateral proposal was unveiled during a conference in Rome, where Piantedosi, joined by his Tunisian counterpart, Kamal Feki, and Libya's Emad Trabelsi, sought urgent solutions to the migration crisis impacting Italy and other European Union member states. According to the Libyan Observer newspaper, the meeting focused on collaborative efforts to address the challenges posed by the significant influx of migrants.

Piantedosi emphasized the strategic importance of the three countries in managing transnational challenges, asserting that their cooperation is crucial for the stability of the Mediterranean region. The joint control room represents a proactive step toward collective action to mitigate the complexities associated with migration and its broader implications.

Italy has experienced a notable surge in arrivals, with the Interior Ministry reporting that nearly 130,000 migrants arrived by sea from North Africa in the country as of mid-September. This figure represents a nearly twofold increase compared to the same period in the previous year.

The urgency of the situation prompted Italian authorities to declare a state of emergency on the southern island of Lampedusa in September. Located less than 90 miles from the Tunisian coast and roughly halfway between Libya and Sicily, Lampedusa has become a focal point for arrivals, with over 8,000 migrants arriving in 199 boats within a span of three days, as reported by the United Nation's migration agency.

As Italy grapples with the multifaceted challenges of the migration crisis, the proposal for a joint control room with Libya and Tunisia marks a diplomatic effort to collaboratively address the root causes and find comprehensive solutions to the pressing issue affecting not only Italy but the broader European Union.

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