By John Lee.
Germany is to provide 3.5 million euros ($3.9 million) to Libya to improve conditions refugees.
On a visit to the country on Thursday, Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel issued the following statement:
“In Libya, we are witnessing the tremendous political, humanitarian and security policy consequences of the conflicts in the Middle East in sharp relief. Meanwhile, forced migration, displacement and migration are a consequence that has a direct impact on us. Our objective is therefore – together with the Libyan people – to brace ourselves against the tide of instability that has emerged in the absence of sound structures. For this, it is important that we European partners are on the same page and speak out on Libya with one voice.
"In order to achieve our aims, Libya’s deeply divided forces must demonstrate a willingness to compromise and, at long last, commence serious talks on how to implement the Political Agreement. Only then will it be possible to calm the fighting and, in the medium term, achieve order and statehood. We are looking to the Government of National Accord under Prime Minister Sarraj in this regard. Tangible progress is urgently needed – both in terms of building up professional national security forces and in the economic sphere. We also call on the High Council of State, the House of Representatives and the forces in eastern Libya not to boycott this dialogue.
"Turning a blind eye is likewise not an option when it comes to migration and the human lives hanging in the balance. The European Union has declared its intention to fight human trafficking, and German servicemen and women are making an important contribution to this mission. Just a few days ago, we tabled a motion in the Bundestag to extend the mandate for EUNAVFOR MED.
"Many migrants are also in a desperate situation on dry land. An initial, pressing task is therefore to improve the shameful living conditions in the detention centres. We are already contributing the lion’s share of the International Organization for Migration’s 100 million euro regional programme over the next three years. And it was with this in mind that we responded to the most recent appeal by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which urgently called for further funds. We will support UNHCR with an additional 3.5 million euros by 2018.”
(Source: German Foreign Ministry)