The turmoil in Arab countries finds the European Union states struggling to find common positions. Meeting in Brussels, the 27 foreign ministers have been considering the possibility of mass uncontrolled migration from the troubled region.
Britain’s William Hague spoke specifically about action by the authorities in Tripoli: “We want to see proper protection for foreign nationals in Libya and in particular assistance for them as they are trying to leave the country.”
Libya has threatened to suspend cooperation with Europe in fighting illegal immigrant departures from its territory. Italy is in the front line of the receiving end.
Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said: “I’m extremely concerned about the self proclamation of these so-called Islamic Emirate of Benghazi. Would you imagine to have an Islamic Arab Emirate at the borders of Europe? This would be a very serious threat.”
European Union foreign policy high representative Catherine Ashton is scheduled to visit Egypt on Tuesday, the day after Prime Minister David Cameron did so, becoming the first leader to got to Egypt since Hosni Mubarak was forced out as president.