U.S. President Donald Trump loomed large over a summit meeting of E.U. leaders in Malta on Friday, but in terms of actual policy, the biggest problems were tackled elsewhere.
A 10-point program approved by E.U. leaders in Malta aims to halt the flood of African migrants entering Europe via the Mediterranean sea.
A central focus of the program is Libya. The politically-unstable country has served as a major point of departure for thousands of Africans seeking a new life in Europe. Human trafficking has become the fastest growing and most profitable criminal activity in the country.
“We have to fight illegal human trafficking,” said Chancellor Angela Merkel who on Friday visited Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Brussels’ multi-billion euro deal with Turkey has largely ended the flow of refugees on the Aegean and Balkans routes.
European leaders agreed in Malta that they would need to concentrate more on helping Africa, Ms. Merkel said at a press conference after the talks. That’s especially true as the United States under President Trump turns its focus inward.