Libya: we will not be Europe's free security guard against migrant
A Libyan official said on Tuesday that the country would not be a "free personal security guard" for Europe's southern coast, regional daily al-Sharq al-Awsat reported.
The comment comes as EU representatives are in Tripoli for talks with Libyan officials on preventing illegal migration to Europe, DPA reported.
Libya, along one of the main routes illegal migrants take to reach Europe, is requesting financial and logistical assistance from the EU to combat the problem, said the official, who chose to remain anonymous.
EU officials Stefan Bean, who is responsible for enlargement and neighborhood policy, and Cecilia Malestrom, in charge of immigration, are scheduled to meet with Libya;s prime minister and foreign minister during their visit to Tripoli.
The EU would like a cooperation agreement with Libya covering the migration issue, as well as the fields of energy and development, al- Sharq al-Awsat reported.
Libyan leader Moammer Gaddafi said last month that he wants the EU to pay Libya 6.3 billion dollars each year to combat illegal immigration.
EU officials say their is great scope for cooperation with Libya on all migration issues, but that there need not be massive handouts involved.
The EU has already spent some 68 million dollars on pilot projects aimed at improving Libya's treatment and handling of migrants.