MEP Roberta Metsola spearheads an MEP debate on Libya
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MEP Roberta Metsola managed to add a point to this week’s European Parliament plenary agenda on the situation in Libya.
Leading the calls for the debate, Dr Metsola argued that citizens needed to know what the EU’s strategy on Libya was, particularly as regards the process towards a Libyan unity Government, migration and security in the entire region.
Her request was accepted by a majority of MEPs and the item was a last-minute addition to the agenda.
During the debate, with EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, Dr Metsola underlined that the fact that the different factions in Libya have not yet agreed on a unity Government within the UN brokered talks has led to security gaps that has allowed terror groups, like the Islamic State, to gain a foothold in the country.
“The EU has an important role to play in supporting the talks. Terrorist organisations can only be effectively defeated by a strong and united Libya. It is the Libyans themselves who must be the masters of their own destiny,” said Dr Metsola.
She underlined that politicians have to be careful not to paint the fight against terror as a clash of civilisations, “we would be wrong to see the fight against ISIS as a battle between religions. ISIS is not representative of Islam. This is a fight against extremists who abuse of religion as a cloak for their barbarous acts.”
Dr Metsola called on the EU to be prepared for any scenario, saying that, “the situation in Libya is evolving fast. Thousands of people are at the risk of being displaced and will flee the terror and violence in any way they can; migratory flows in the Mediterranean will continue to persist.”
She added that, “we need to have the courage to look at every instrument available that the European Union can use. This includes looking at whether it is time to deploy assets to the Mediterranean to save lives and boost security, or looking at how legislation like our Temporary Protection Directive can be best utilised to ensure the fair sharing of responsibility between Member States.”
Dr Metsola welcomed the fact that the issue will soon be discussed by Prime Ministers and Foreign Affairs Ministers and underlined that it must remain at the top of the EU’s agenda.