Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said that the European Union should lift its arms embargo on Libya in order to combat migrant trafficking, during a joint press conference with his Libyan counterpart Ahmed Maiteeq in Rome on Thursday.

SOT, Matteo Salvini, Italy interior Minister (Italian): “Before sending back to Italy a single asylum seeker coming from other European countries, we want to have concrete commitments, precise ways, time, resources, facilities on how the European Union intends to help us protect the external borders.”

SOT, Ahmed Maiteeq, vice president of the presidential council of Libya (Italian): “Libya is a country that has an economic possibility, but has no means. The embargo takes away all the possibilities we can have to help everyone we want to help.”

SOT, Ahmed Maiteeq, vice president of the presidential council of Libya (Arabic): “The Libyan government is under restrictions with regards to equipment, maritime security – this is a major problem that we suffer from, as we are often unable to protect our maritime boundaries.”

SOT, Matteo Salvini, Italy interior Minister (Italian): “We want the end of the embargo because human traffickers and weapon dealers obviously disregard the embargo and arm themselves as they wish, and the only ones who are blocked are those who represent legitimate and recognized authorities.”

SOT, Matteo Salvini, Italy interior Minister (Italian): “Next week I will have a meeting with the German colleague Seehofer before the Innsbruck council to agree an Italian-German agreement on the phenomenon of immigration and to put Libya and the concrete help to Libya as the first point of the European Council of Ministers of Interiors to be held on 12 July in Innsbruck.”

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