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New Memorandum of Understanding on "illegal immigration" and border security signed
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Italy and the UN-backed Libyan Government of National Accord yesterday (2 February) signed a new Memorandum of Understading on "development, countering illegal immigration, human trafficking, smuggling and on strengthening border security".

See: Memorandum d'intesa sulla cooperazione nel campo dello sviluppo, del contrasto all'immigrazione illegale, al traffico di esseri umani, al contrabbando e sul rafforzamento della sicurezza delle frontiere tra lo Stato della Libia e la Repubblica Italiana (pdf)

The deal was agreed the day before the European Council's meeting in Malta, whose declaration focused heavily on cooperation with the Libyan authorities in order to stop migration across the "Central Mediterranean Route". See: European Council adopts declaration on cooperation with Libya amidst human rights warnings (Statewatch News Online)

As a 'Memorandum of Understanding' there will be far less scrutiny of the text than for a treaty or other formal agreement, and there is no need for parliamentary ratification. This new text follows the coming to light of a Memorandum of Understanding' between Italy and Sudan last year. See: Memorandum of understanding between the Italian public security department and the Sudanese national police. A reading guide (pdf)

As well as signing the deal with the Italian government in Rome, Fayez Mustafa al-Sarraj, the Prime Minister of Libya's UN-backed Government of National Accord, also made it to Brussels on Thursday for a meeting with the EU's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini. See: Remarks by Federica Mogherini following the meeting with Mr Fayez Mustafa al-Sarraj, Chairman of the Presidency Council and Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord of Libya (pdf)

Press coverage

Italy and Libya cut migrant busting deal (EUobserver, link)

Italy vows to help Libya seal borders, urges EU to do same (Reuters, link)


Italy/Libya: Documents unveil post-Gaddafi cooperation agreement on immigration (Statewatch News Online, December 2012)

Statewatch Analysis: The EU’s self-interested response to unrest in north Africa: the meaning of treaties and readmission agreements between Italy and north African states (pdf) by Yasha Maccanico

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