Libya has warned Europe it will “suspend cooperation” in the fight against illegal immigration.
The threat came as the EU issued a strong denunciation of Tripoli’s bloody crackdown against pro-democracy protesters.
Relations between the bloc and oil-rich Libya have rarely been so strained as reports of its brutal repression emerge.
EU Foreign Affairs representative Catherine Ashton told euronews:
“I’m really worried about what’s happening in Libya at the present time. We have been urging restraint, we continue to do so. It’s very important – you will have heard it from all of the foreign ministers you’ve asked tonight -, it’s very very important that this violence stops and they move to dialogue.”
According to Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, Libya’s leaders will reap the consequences of their harsh treatment.
“Anyone who does not respect human life, who does not respect the expression of popular will, and uses methods that are worthy of the Middle Ages, those should be tried by the International Criminal Court. “
Europe’s foreign ministers are set to discuss the unfolding crisis in the region at a special meeting later today.