EU Launches New Libya Sea and Air Patrols – Al Marsad

The European Union (EU) will launched a new naval and air mission in the Mediterranean next April to stop more weapons reaching Libya, EU diplomats said on Thursday, with Greece agreeing to take in any migrants rescued at sea.

According to Reuters, “The decision, which was delayed by divisions over migrants, followed warnings by EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell that the bloc risked becoming irrelevant if it could not act, potentially leaving Libya’s fate to Turkey and Russia.”

“Greece has allowed disembarkation (of rescued migrants) in its ports,” said an EU diplomat involved in the negotiations, adding that other EU governments agreed to help cover the harbor costs of bringing those rescued on shore to avoid more financial pressure on Athens.

The new mission, named Irini, will replace the EU’s current military mission, known as Operation Sophia, which stopped deploying ships a year ago after Italy, facing an anti-immigrant backlash, said it would no longer take migrants rescued at sea.

© Al Marsad English (2020)