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Libyan Prime Minister visits the Federal Chancellery

Improving the situation of refugees

Germany advocates strengthening Libya’s Government of National Accord, said the Chancellor after meeting with Libya’s Prime Minister. The German government supports the efforts of Ghassan Salamé, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, to prepare elections. The situation of refugees in Libya was also discussed.

The meeting between Chancellor Angela Merkel and Libya’s Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj centred on the political process in Libya. They also discussed ways of improving the situation of refugees and migrants in Libya. The two heads of government arranged the talks when they met on 29 November at the AU EU Summit in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

Germany supports UN engagement in Libya

It is important that Libya does not become a pawn of foreign interests, said Angela Merkel at the press conference following their meeting. The country must take charge of its own future. Germany aims to improve living conditions for the people in Libya, which is why the meeting at the Federal Chancellery was followed by the signing of an economic agreement with Siemens.

Chancellor Angela Merkel also pointed to the problem of illegal migration, which affects Libya. In the last few days we have again seen shocking pictures of migrants living in degrading conditions in Libya. This is why she discussed with the Prime Minister ways of supporting the work of the IOM and UNHCR in Libya, she reported. She has asked the Prime Minister to give the organisations access to camps in order to improve the situation there. The German side also provides financial support to both organisations.

Many African states are willing to readmit their citizens, and Germany is willing to provide support, Angela Merkel reaffirmed. This process has already got off the ground. The Libyan coastguard is also being trained as a way of building state structures. This will enable Libya to control its own borders more effectively.

The United Nations General Assembly founded the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in 1951 in order to help the million of Europeans who became refugees in the wake of the Second World War. Since it was founded, UNHCR has helped more than 50 million people build a new life – in recognition of these services UNHCR was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1954 and 1981. UNHCR is headed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, a post held by Filippo Grandi since 1 January 2016.

The International Organization for Migration is the world’s leading organisation in the field of migration in its many facets and all its complexity. It was founded in 1951 and cooperates closely with a wide spectrum of partners, from governments to supranational and international organisations and non-governmental organisations. In September 2016 the IOM became a Related Organization of the UN, making it part of the United Nations system.

Dec 07, 2017