An appeal was launched from the Euro-Mediterranean summit in Lisbon, in which Federica Mogherini particiated, for all sides in Libya to commit to building democratic institutions and a stronger State. The 5+5 meeting of the heads of diplomacy of Italy, Portugal, Spain, France and Malta, representing Europe, and of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania, representing Africa, was dedicated largely to the Libyan crisis and migration, but other topics included the Middle East, Syria, economic cooperation and energy.
It is up to the Libyans to launch and conduct dialogue
“We need an extra effort on the part of the international community to help Libyans promote a national dialogue that involves regional actors, in terms not of interference but of support”, Mogherini said, “it is up to the Libyans to launch and conduct the dialogue, and on this there was unanimous agreement. This is the only way by which security and order can be re-established and borders be controlled”. In that sense, the Lisbon meeting produced “a unified call for the UN to be given a strong role as coordinator of individual countries’ concrete activities and of the political message. We all stressed the importance of the UN’s having this task, certainly along with the Arab League and other regional and international organisations involved, as an assurance of the neutrality of international efforts”. Precisely with regard to the coordination of international efforts, “the hope was expressed, upon Libya’s request, that a meeting of the special envoys for Libya might be held on the 2nd in Tunis”, Mogherini reported, who had a long bilateral meeting in the margins of the summit with her Libyan colleague Mohammed Abdelaziz.
Lengthy discussion of migration
The topic of migration was also discussed at length during the summit. Upon Italy’s request, the final declaration includes an amendment in which 10 ministers “deplore the loss of human lives in the Mediterranean and launch an appeal to all parties concerned, in particular the EU, to adopt appropriate measures by which to avoid the repetition of such tragedies”. “There is the perception that, an effective way of managing the flows, both of migrants and asylum-seekers, could be through joint declarations between the EU and individual countries, as has already been done with Morocco and Tunisia, of mutual interest in their orderly handling”, Mogherini explained. “We intend to use the Italian EU Presidency to make the EU more effective in rescue efforts, which we cannot be the only ones to carry out, and on handling asylum requests. A decision was taken to hold another 5+5 Dialogue meeting on migration in Malta during the Italian duty presidency of the Council of the European Union.
In addition to the Libyan foreign minister, Mogherini held bilateral meetings with her counterparts from Algeria Ramtane Lamamra, Mauritania Ahmed Tguedi, Morocco Salaheddin Mezouar and Tunisia Mongi Hamdi.