Jean Asselborn in talks with António Vitorino, director deneral of the International Organisation for Migration, Filippo Grandi, UN high commissioner for refugees and Dimitris Avramopoulos, European commissioner in charge of migration.
Luxembourg’s foreign minister Jean Asselborn has appealed for unity and says returning refugees to Libya is not an option.
Following a meeting in Paris on Monday of EU 27 interior and foreign ministers, Luxembourg’s Jean Asselborn (LSAP) has said that the refugee crisis is a “death crisis in the Central Mediterranean, with more than 300 deaths in 2019.”
Asselborn also said it was unacceptable that refugees who are intercepted are being sent back to Libya “under the conditions we know exist there. People are being sold as slaves. They are being tortured. There is no control mechanism.”
But German foreign minister Heiko Maas saw some optimism after the talks. “The haggling about emergency rescue in the Mediterranean must finally end,” he told reporters. “It is really necessary that we manage to put together a coalition of those who are prepared to help, and I think we came a step closer to that today.”