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Jan 12, 6:13 AM EST

EU presidency calls for urgent migrant deal with Libya

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AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen

VALLETTA, Malta (AP) -- The leader of the European Union's presidency says that record numbers of migrants will try to cross the Mediterranean this spring and he wants the EU to work with Libya now to stem the flow.

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said Thursday that "we will have a crisis."

Muscat said Europe can choose between "trying to do something now, or meeting urgently in April, May ... and try to do a deal then."

He says that the EU should draw up an arrangement with Libya, from where most migrants leave Africa for Europe. It would use European money and expand an agreement already in place between Italy and Libya.

Muscat said "there is already a framework that has been negotiated. The Italian deal can serve as a basis."

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