Family photo taken during Lisbon Summit of southern European Union Countries at Belem Cultural Centre in Lisbon, Portugal, January 28, 2017. REUTERS/Pedro Nunes
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EU leaders meeting in Malta Friday will face the challenge of how to work with a chaotic Libya and reluctant sub-Saharan African countries to prevent a feared upsurge of migrant smuggling to Europe.Though far fewer than the hundreds of thousands who had arrived in Greece before the deal, a record 180,000 migrants landed in Italy last year while some 4,500 died trying to reach Europe's shores.Barred from Libya's waters, the EU is betting on the support of the country's coast guard to crack down on the smugglers and then take migrants back to their shores.As an inducement, the EU seems ready to open legal channels of migration to Europe.The reception centers outside the EU would then be used to determine who can be admitted to Europe as a refugee or rejected as an illegal migrant.
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