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Libya, Italy discuss illegal immigration issues

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Libya's UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez Serraj on Friday held a phone conversation with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte over illegal immigration and its security and economic effects.

According to a statement by the Libyan prime minister's information office, the two leaders also discussed the latest political developments in Libya, bilateral relations, and cooperation between the two countries.

The Italian prime minister reiterated his country's support for the Government of National Accord and the path of consensus in Libya, the statement said.

The Libyan prime minister stressed the distinguished relations between the two countries, praising Italy's support for Libya to overcome its current crisis, it said.

Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini is scheduled to visit Libya's capital Tripoli later this month to discuss cooperation against illegal immigration.

Upon his appointment as interior minister in early June, Salvini said his country would be a "refugee camp," in reference to Rome's refusal to continue receiving migrants.

Italy closed its ports earlier in June and refused to receive a ship belonging to an international organization that rescues migrants in the Mediterranean, with 600 migrants aboard.

Spain agreed to receive the 600 migrants, after intensive international contacts.

Italy's refusal to receive these migrants from Libya is the first of its kind, which observers consider an indication of Italy's beginning of giving up its international commitments on migrants.

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