Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini wants to establish processing centers in North Africa to stem the flow of migrants across the Mediterranean Sea.
The radical measures have been proposed by multiple European leaders, including Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and French President Emmanuel Macron, but Salvini’s visit marks a distinct evolution of the plan, as he is conducting in-person meetings with African officials on their home turf.
“Here in Tripoli, I have just met the Libyan Minister of the Interior Abdulsalam Hour,” Salvini tweeted. “My commitment will be the maximum in order to strengthen the friendship between our two countries and cooperation on all fronts, starting with the immigration emergency.”
Qui Tripoli, ho appena incontrato il ministro dell’Interno libico Abdulsalam Ashour. Il mio— Matteo Salvini (@matteosalvinimi) June 25, 2018
impegno sarà massimo per rinsaldare l’amicizia tra i nostri due Paesi e la collaborazione su tutti i fronti, a partire dall’emergenza immigrazione. Vi tengo aggiornati! pic.twitter.com/9OiTeelQnu
According to Salvini, the centers could be installed far from the Mediterranean coast to preempt migrants and human traffickers from reaching and overwhelming port regions.
“As the European Union funds 3.3 billion euros, to defend the eastern borders around Turkey - which is not a European country - from our Libyan friends there is the same request, for an equally concrete intervention where migrants depart,” he said. “So we are not talking about Libya, but we talk about the countries to the south [of Libya].”
“We have proposed reception centers located on the southern borders of Libya to prevent even Tripoli becoming a funnel, like Italy,” he added in a related tweet.
Hotspots dell'accoglienza in Italia?Sarebbe problema per noi e per la Libia stessa perché i flussi della morte non verrebbero interrotti.— Matteo Salvini (@matteosalvinimi) June 25, 2018
Noi abbiamo proposto centri di accoglienza posti ai confini a Sud della Libia per evitare che anche Tripoli diventi un imbuto, come Italia. pic.twitter.com/3kfFfMIgTJ
“Let's see if Europe remembers that it actually exists because there is still a boat loaded with migrants in Maltese waters waiting for a port to welcome it and we can tell you again, it won't be in an Italian port,” he asserted, referring to a German NGO boat currently seeking to dock in Europe after being banned by Italy, Spain and Malta.
Popularity for the establishment of processing centers in Africa is growing as the migration crisis continues and Europeans elect pro-border security parties with leaders who are serious about stemming a tide that threatens the survival of the continent as it has long existed.
(PHOTO: MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images)