Libya refuses settlement of illegal immigrants

Libya's UN-backed government's Foreign Minister on Wednesday refused settlement of illegal immigrants on Libyan territory.

"Libya does not accept this unjust and unfair measure. It has more than 700,000 immigrants. They must be returned to the countries of origin from where they came," Mohamed Sayala said in a statement.

"Libya is a transit country and has borne a lot. The international community must assume its responsibilities by pressing the countries of origin to re-accept their nationals and bear the expenses of their return to the countries of origin," Sayala added.

Libya has become a preferred departure point for illegal immigrants hoping to cross the Mediterranean Sea into Europe due to insecurity and chaos in the North African country following the 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Migrant shelters in Libya are crowded with thousands of illegal immigrants who have been rescued at sea or arrested by the Libyan security services.

Xinhua

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