Brussels, Oct 19 (IANS/AKI) European Council President Donald Tusk has praised Italy for its role in cutting the number of migrant boats crossing the Mediterranean from Libya.
“Thanks to Italy, the number of illegal migrants and deaths at sea are finally falling,” Tusk told reporters in Brussels ahead of an EU leaders summit.
“As you know, the Italian government under the leadership of premier Paolo Gentiloni has began to reduce the influx of migrants in the central Mediterranean effectively.”
Tusk also called for more help to Italy. “We cannot just thank Italy, the EU most now increase its efforts to help it,” he said.
EU member states should be willing to earmark more funds for the Trust Fund for Africa, Tusk went on.
“The European Commission, which manages this fund, must ensure the money is channelled to the fight against illegal immigration,” he said.
The Italian naval mission is now conducting security operations in some 160,000 square kilometres including Libya’s coastal waters.
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