Minniti says migrant trafficker deal with Tripoli (3)

Interior minister meets Serraj

(ANSA) - Rome, January 9 - Interior Minister Marco Minniti on Monday agreed a projected memorandum of understanding to boost cooperation between Italy and Libya against illegal immigration and human trafficking, after talks in Tripoli with Premier Fayez Mustafa Al Serraj, Foreign Minister M. Siyala and the members of the presidential council, A. Maitig e A. Kajman. Italy has long been seeking a deal to help stop the ceaseless flow of migrants arriving in Italy from Libya.
    Minniti's mission to Libya, the interior ministry said, was the opportunity to start "a new phase of cooperation between the two countries, especially in regard to the migratory sector, and for the fight against criminal organisations that exploit migrants".
    "During the meeting, Italy's full support was reaffirmed for the national unity government and Libya's role in fighting terrorism both on a regional level and a national one, in particular in the Mediterranean region.
    Both sides stressed the progress made in the field of bilateral cooperation on security and the will to go forward in strengthening and deepening cooperation in this field was reiterated.
    The parties also voiced "a joint commitment towards fighting against illegal immigration and human trafficking on which a projected memorandum of understanding was agreed for joint examination in preparation for its approval "This memorandum," it was stressed, "represents a national project in the security sector to boost cooperation between the two countries in the field of mutual security, fighting terrorism and combating human trafficking".
    Further, Minniti and Al Serraj confirmed a commitment to tackling together both countries' problems such as smuggling in all its forms and the protection of borders with particular reference to Libya's southern borders".