The spokesman for the Libyan Coast Guard, Ayoub Qasim, has stated that non-government organizations that are actively saving illegal immigrants in Libyan waters are following agendas by using their influence to earn money.

Reacting to Germany’s Sea Watch, Qasim said in a press conference in Tripoli on Tuesday that it is not the first time that Sea Watch had accused the Libyan Coast Guard of obstructing sea rescue operations, adding that the Libyan Coast Guard is in possession of video footage, obtained by a German TV station, which clearly depicts the crew of the Sea Watch obstructing rescue operations by the Coast Guard.

Qasim clarified that the Libyan Coast Guard had rescued 80,000 illegal immigrants with basic equipment and means, calling on Europe to cooperate with and support the Libyan Coast Guard and the Libyan Navy by concluding bilateral agreements that would save more migrants and respect Libyan sovereignty.