UK to help Malta fight illegal immigration

Maltese Prime Minister Dr Lawrence Gonzi and British Home Secretary Charles Clarke on Monday agreed on the need for closer cooperation between Malta and Britain and to tackle the issue of illegal immigration in the European Union .

During the meeting that was held in London, the British Home Secretary offered practical assistance to help Malta tackle the issue, particularly with regards those illegal immigrants coming by sea from North Africa.

Speaking after the meeting, Prime Minister Gonzi and the UK Home Secretary said that dealing with such issues is a shared concern and a priority for the whole EU.

Real progress, the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary further said, can only be achieved by addressing the broad range of migration issues and in partnership with all the countries concerned.

The British Home Secretary revealed that the UK will be helping Malta with practical assistance and will share experience and expertise on integration, intelligence analysis and administration of reception centres.

The UK, which currently holds the Presidency of the EU, will continue to seek progress on migration cooperation with Sub-Sahara Africa and with North Africa.

Among the main items that will be discussed by the European and African States will be ways to optimise the benefits of migration for countries where immigrants come from and the securing of the return of illegal migrants.