"Europe has proven its ability to host 4 million refugees from Ukraine generously and effectively," he said.

"It must now urgently consider how to apply this to other refugees and migrants knocking, in distress, at its doors."

MSF meanwhile stressed that those rescued on Saturday "are in need of urgent protection and care."

"None of the survivors should be returned to a place where they face detention, abuse and ill-treatment. Libya is not a place of safety," it said.

Libya, wracked by a decade of conflict and lawlessness, has become a key departure point for African and Asian migrants making desperate attempts to reach Europe.

Migrants often endure horrific conditions in Libya before embarking northwards on overcrowded, often unseaworthy vessels that frequently sink or get into trouble.

The European Union has faced criticism for its close cooperation with the Libyan Coast Guard to cut numbers of migrants arriving on European shores.

On their return, many face further horrific abuses in detention centres.

Prior to the latest tragedy, the UN's International Organization for Migration had recorded 367 deaths in the Mediterranean so far this year, after registering 2,048 such deaths in 2021.

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