[dehai-news] (Reuters): Libya's Gaddafi wants European aid to cut migration

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From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Thu Feb 12 2009 - 07:20:45 EST

Libya's Gaddafi wants European aid to cut migration

Wed Feb 11, 2009 5:43pm GMT

TRIPOLI, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi called for more
European aid to Africa to curb the numbers of migrants trying to reach
Europe by sea.

Immigration is a hot political issue for governments in Europe, especially
now at a time of global economic crisis.

Gaddafi, elected as the new chairman of the African Union, said he would
call on Europe and the international community to help Africa offer better
opportunities to its young people.

"If Europe does not want migration, then it has to help us encourage young
people to stay in Africa. In my position as AU chairman, I call on Europe
and the European Union for that," he said in a speech late on Tuesday.

"I'm against our young people migrating to Europe. I do not want Africa be
drained of its workforce and of its youth," Gaddafi told supporters
congratulating him on his AU election.

"Young people should stay in Africa to build Africa and work in Africa. We
have to set up serious projects in Africa and prevent youths from going to
Europe," he added in the remarks carried by state news agency Jana on

Gaddafi pledged to defend the rights of African immigrants in Europe, where,
he said, African workers are abused and marginalised.

The Libyan leader said he accepted the post of AU chairman mainly because
Barack Obama, who father was Kenyan, had been elected U.S. president.

"We accepted presiding over the African Union at a time when a black man
presides over United States of America ... This is one of the reasons that
made me accept the AU presidency," he said.

Gaddafi said he hoped the United States would change under Obama.

"It is possible there would be cooperation between Africa and America and we
can contribute in improving the world's affairs and resolve its thorny
issues," he added. (Writing by Lamine Ghanmi; Editing by Alison Williams)

C Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved


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