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Cablegate: Italy: Growing Concern About Illegal Immigration

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS ROME 003244

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SMIG PREL MOPS LY IT EUN
SUBJECT: ITALY: GROWING CONCERN ABOUT ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION
FROM LIBYA

REF: ROME 3069

1. (SBU) FOLLOWING A REPORT BY LIBYAN TV THAT LIBYAN AND
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 ROME 03244 030828Z
ITALIAN NAVAL UNITS WERE PERFORMING JOINT EXERCISES IN
THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA IN EARLY JUNE, POLMIL OFF MET
JUNE 18 WITH ANTONIO BELLAVIA, THE MFAS DESK OFFICER
FOR LIBYA AND THE MAGHREB. BELLAVIA EXPLAINED THAT
THESE EXERCISES WERE NOT MILITARY IN NATURE, BUT WERE
DESIGNED TO COMBAT ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION FROM LIBYA TO
ITALY. ACCORDING TO BELLAVIA, THE GOL DOES NOT
REQUIRE ENTRY VISAS FROM PEOPLE FROM SUB-SAHARAN
AFRICA. AS A RESULT, LIBYA, A COUNTRY OF 6 MILLION
PEOPLE, NOW HAS 1.5 MILLION IMMIGRANTS IN ITS
TERRITORY (MAINLY FROM SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA AND THE
MAGHREB COUNTRIES). THIS HAS CREATED A SERIOUS
PROBLEM FOR ITALY AS ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS FROM LIBYA USE
ITALY AS THEIR ENTRY INTO THE EU. GIVEN THAT LIBYA
HAS LONG COASTS AND LITTLE CONTROL OVER THEM,
EXPLAINED BELLAVIA, ITALIAN NAVAL UNITS ARE HELPING
LIBYAN NAVAL UNITS COMBAT THE PROBLEM OF ILLEGAL
IMMIGRATION AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO AS LONG AS THIS
PROBLEM PERSISTS.
2. (SBU) COMMENT: ITALYS CONCERNS ABOUT ILLEGAL
IMMIGRATION ARE SURFACING WITH INCREASING FREQUENCY,
BOTH IN THE CONTEXT OF THE WAR AGAINST TERRORISM (REF)
AND AS A RESULT OF DOMESTIC POLITICAL CONCERNS. END
COMMENT.
SEMBLER
R

UNCLASSIFIED

>
2002ROME03244 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

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