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>> EU leaders are gathering in Malta to try to find a solution to migration. Wary the coming spring will bring a new wave of migrants from Libya to Europe's shores. But hopes of a quick fix aren't high. Reuters Brussels bureau chief Alastair Macdonald is there.>> Senior officials are saying, as one put it, there is no bazooka, there is no magic formula that is going to halt this flow of migrants across the Mediterranean.
Different from what happened last year, they were able to conclude a deal controversial for many, with Turkey. Turkey agreed to hold migrants, Syrian refugees and others, to take back people who did make it to Greece. That is not an option with Libya. Libya is not a safe place, people cannot be sent back to Libya.
What the leaders want to do is be seen to be sending a message to people who want to leave Africa and come to Europe that they shouldn't come. They're trying to impress on them the risks of taking to the sea and the seas around Malta here, more than 4,000 people drowned last year, among the 180,000 who made it to Italy.
They want to explain that that is very dangerous. It's also dangerous crossing the Sahara Desert into Libya. And they want to show that they are working with the Libyans to provide the very shaky UN backed government of Libya, the funds, training, and support to try and have the Libyans help Europe hold people back.
There has been talk in Europe of getting more closely involved, perhaps even trying to review people's asylum claims before they leave Africa, seeing if that can help open up some channels for those people genuinely in need to get them to Europe. But that seems for now some way off.