Italy does not deal with Libya traffickers - foreign ministry

AP reported Tripoli-militia deal backed by Rome

30 August, 18:15

    African migrants, who were rescued by the Libyan coastguard in the Mediterranean off the  Libyan coast (archive) African migrants, who were rescued by the Libyan coastguard in the Mediterranean off the Libyan coast (archive)

    ROME - The foreign ministry on Wednesday denied an Associated Press report that Rome backed an accord between Tripoli and Libya militia previously implicated in migrant trafficking in order to stop migrants crossing the Mediterranean. "The Italian government does not negotiate with traffickers", foreign ministry sources told ANSA, issuing a "strong denial" of the report. "There is no accord between the traffickers and the Italian government", the sources said.

    On Tuesday AP said: "Under a deal backed by Italy, Libya's struggling government in Tripoli has paid militias implicated in trafficking to now prevent migrants from crossing the Mediterranean to Europe, one reason for a dramatic drop in the traffic, militia and security officials told The Associated Press."

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