Libya, neighbours pledge security cooperation to combat crime
TRIPOLI - Libya and its neighbours have agreed to cooperate on issues of regional security, including illegal immigration, interim Prime Minister Abdel Rahim al-Kib said on Monday.
"We have adopted the Tripoli action plan on regional cooperation and border control," Kib told reporters in Tripoli at the end of a two-day regional conference on border security.
The agreement aims to reinforce bilateral and regional relations to combat organised crime, including drug and arms trafficking, terrorism and illegal immigration, Kib said.
In the short term, it prioritises the exchange of intelligence on all regional security threats, a joint analysis of the root causes behind illegal immigration, and the implementation of mechanisms for coordinated action.
The conference brought together ministers and security experts from Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Sudan and Tunisia, with the aim of enhancing cooperation.
Delegates emphasised the benefits of conducting joint border patrols to crackdown on arms, drug and human trafficking networks, which use their profits to finance terrorism.
They also stressed the need to develop solutions to illegal immigration that involve the destination countries and the root causes of migration -- chiefly poverty and lack of development -- in the countries of origin.
"I clarify once again to the European Union and states north of the Mediterranean that we will not be a dumping ground for the people they refuse," Kib warned.
He urged neighbouring countries which have sheltered people wanted by the Libyan authorities to hand them over to face justice rather than grant them political asylum or protect them for humanitarian reasons.
"We insist respectfully on our right to bring them to face justice in Libya," Kib said, adding that remnants of the former regime were spreading instability across borders.
Saadi Gathafi, one of the sons of Libya's slain dictator, told Arab television from Niger last month that a nationwide rebellion is brewing against the country's new rulers as he vowed to return to his homeland.
The representative of Niger said Saadi has been brought under control.
"We received Saadi Gathafi on humanitarian grounds but unfortunately there have been tensions," Colonel Djibo Tahirou said, adding that the conditions of his stay had become much more "restricted and controlled."
The envoy of Algeria, which is sheltering Gathafi's daughter Aisha, his sons Mohammed and Hannibal, and his second wife Safiya, said there was no threat to Libya coming from within its territory.
"Algeria has taken all measures to counter any attempt that will hurt the security of Libya," said Algerian Interior Minister Dahou Ould Kablia.
Diplomats and delegates from the African Union, the Arab League, the European Union and the United Nations also attended the conference.
The Moroccan representative said the kingdom will host a follow-up conference to measure progress within a year.