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Italy-Libya cooperate to stem migrants

ROME, June 25 (UPI) -- Italy and Libya will share costs of a radar system aimed at stemming illegal immigration from North Africa toward Sicily, it was announced Wednesday.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will discuss the issue in a meeting Friday with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi in Tripoli, the Italian news service ANSA reported Wednesday.

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Libya has become a major stepping-off point for African migrants seeking to enter Europe. One of their main routes is through the desert from central Africa, into Libya and up to ports on the northern coast.

''Libya needs a system to monitor arrivals on its shores because it's clear that if you can't prevent people from reaching this coast then you can't stop them from crossing over to Italy,'' said Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni. ''Radar and satellite systems are available but they're expensive and Libya is willing to cover part of the cost. I think the Italian government needs to step in and contribute."

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