The head of the
European Union's border agency Frontex was expected to visit Malta Tuesday to discuss the humanitarian emergency triggered by the uprising in nearby Libya, officials said, dpa reported.
Frontex Executive Director
Illka Laitinen planned to meet government officials in Malta. The small Mediterranean island-nation which has turned into a major evacuation hub for thousands of foreign nations fleeing Libya.
Earlier, speaking at the European Parliament, Laitinen said Frontex is considering extending its Hermes air-and-sea patrol mission in the southern Mediterranean.
Hermes began operating last month off the Italian island of Lampedusa following an appeal by Italian authorities for assistance in coping with the arrival of over 5,000 people - mostly Tunisians fleeing the disturbances which led to the toppling of their country's former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
Last week Italy's Foreign Minister
Franco Frattini warned that the uprising in Tunisia's neighbour Libya, could prompt over 300,00 people, including nationals from neighbouring African countries, to attempt reaching Europe from Libya's coastline.