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US, Italy to focus on threats from Libya

Obama and Renzi meet at White House to discuss economic and security concerns

Bakı. 18 aprel. REPORT.AZ/ The U.S. president and Italian prime minister on Friday vowed to work more closely on threats coming from Libya to Italy.

"Given Italy's leadership role across the Mediterranean, the prime minister and I agreed to work together even more intensively to encourage cooperation on threats coming from Libya, including the growing ISIL presence there, as well as additional coordination with other partners in how we can stabilize what has become a very deadly and difficult situation," said President Barack Obama.

Report informs referring to the foreign media, both leaders agreed on the danger of Daesh's presence in Libya, as the terrorist group tries to find a "safe heaven," in the north African country.

Due to large number of immigrants fleeing Libya to Italy, Daesh's presence in Libya also became a serious threat to the security of Europe.

"ISIL has been very explicit about wanting to use the chaos inside of Libya as a potential justification for putting some of their personnel there," Obama said.

The two leaders held a joint press conference following an Oval Office meeting in which they discussed a range of issues, including economic and security concerns.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said 91 percent of the immigrants from Africa comes from Libya and reasoned that three years ago many came from Tunisia because of political and social strife in their country, and now Libya is facing the same problems.

The International Organization for Migration last week estimated 350 migrants, including children, are believed to have drowned off the coast of Libya while trying to reach Italy.

As many as 5,000 migrants reached Italy between Saturday and Monday, including 450 children, most of whom were unaccompanied.

In order to solve the problem, stability must be established in Libya, said Renzi. "In this period of transition, Italy is ready to bring responsibility, to make the leadership in every diplomatic and counterterrorism efforts,” he said.

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