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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 November 2006, 20:40 GMT
EU backs away from migration fund
Illegal migrants and Red Cross workers on the Spanish Canary Island of Tenerife
Tens of thousands have arrived in Tenerife this year
Ministers from Europe and Africa have pledged to co-operate to tackle illegal immigration through development.

A joint declaration was adopted after two days of talks aimed at stemming the flow of illegal migrants to Europe.

But it side-stepped African calls for a special multi-billion dollar development fund provided by the EU.

African ministers said that such a fund would finance development projects to prevent young Africans seeking a better future in Europe.

But European Commissioner for Development Louis Michel said the Europeans were not yet ready to contribute to such a fund.

Dialogue

He proposed a 40m-euro ($52m) fund to manage African migration to Europe.

He said the fund could be used to lower the cost for Africans sending money earned in Europe back home and set up a network of migration bureaux to match demand for jobs with supply of workers.

The BBC's Rana Jawad in Tripoli says that ministers have emphasised that their discussion represents the beginning of a dialogue.

Ministers from more than 50 countries in Africa and the EU agreed on a global approach to tackle illegal immigration which will include an increase in co-operation on border control.

"Illegal or irregular immigration cannot be addressed solely from a security perspective," European and African leaders said in the joint statement.

Mr Michel said migration should not be demonised or seen as something perverse but rather "a natural phenomenon".

Map showing main migration routes




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