Head of European Diplomacy, Federica Mogherini, said that the block’s foreign and defense ministers would discuss “concrete” economic and security projects via video link with Libyan Prime Minister-Designate Fayez al-Sarraj. The EU wants to support Libya’s new unity government in order to tame the influx of migrants to Europe and strengthen its position against the Islamic State. Mrs Mogherini said that the ministers would work “to identify concrete projects in different fields that are the priorities of the Libyan people and of the Libyan government…on the economic and political and security side”.
French and German foreign ministers, who visited Libya last weekend, said that international support was “indispensable” to restore stability in the country. French minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, commented that “the migration problem is obviously part of this important question, the fight against Daesh is also part of this question”. He added that the EU would like to discuss further steps to limit migrant smuggling and arms trafficking. Libya has been in chaos for almost five years following the toppling of Moamer Kadhafi in 2011.
To support Libya, Brussels has prepared an aid package of €100 million in development and humanitarian aid, which will also cover the training of the police and coastguard. Some EU countries also want the new Libyan government to give Operation Sophia, an EU naval mission established last year, a permission to enter its territorial waters to help tackle migrant trafficking. The EU’s mission in Libya, EUBAM, was founded in May 2013 to support the Libyan authorities in improving and developing their capacity to enhance the security of their land, sea and air borders in the short term, and to develop a broader Integrated Border Management strategy in the long term.