Libyan Navy Spokesman Ayoub Kassem issued a number of statements in regards to the matter of rescuing migrants from the coasts.
Kassem issued that, “We tell Europe, that if it wants to save the migrants, reach out to Libya first and help the Libyan Coast Guard”, adding that the Coast Guards do not know who the NGO’s are, who their supporters are, and what their goals are in the case of the migrants. Kassem also states that this was not the first time in which the Libyan Coast Guard has encountered a situation with the German organization Sea Watch on the case of rescuing the illegal immigrants.
Kassem states that “smugglers protect their boats in order to deliver them to Sea Watch, meanwhile the NGO has tried to disrupt the work of the Coast Guard so as not to reach illegal immigrants. Kassem stressed that the Illegal immigration is the last straw of the pressure that is put on Libya.
Kassem said that “no matter how hard we try to do humanitarian work, the other organizations do not focus on it; because they have an agenda that they work for”, and so Kassem calls on Europe to cooperate with the Coast Guard and support the Navy until they can conclude bilateral agreements to combat the illegal immigration and rescue migrants. Kassem added,” these organizations are non-governmental, and if Europe really wanted to help, they should work in their own regions and to respect Libyan sovereignty.