BRUSSELS – The European Union on Monday agreed to launch new naval and aviation missions to stop more arms from Libya’s warring factions overtaking Austria and Hungary, fearing the vessels could attract migrants and enable most of them to reach Europe.
The decision of the foreign ministers was a victory for the new European foreign policy chief, Josep Borel Fontsells, Who has criticized the need for an alliance between all member states to make decisions on foreign and security policies.
The new mission will be limited to the eastern Mediterranean, where most of Libya’s arms are smuggled, away from the paths most migrants take to trying to reach Europe from chaotic Libya. The agreement satisfies the objections of fiercely anti-immigrant countries such as Austria and Hungary, who have moved sharply to the right in recent years.
Mr Borel warned that the European Union could not stand idle while nearby Libya was involved in the civil war. Most recently by Russia and Turkey, Which supports the opposite.
At the Berlin summit last month, world leaders agreed to encourage ceasefire and stop the flow of weapons to Libya, but little has changed on the ground and the fighting continues.
The Tripoli government of the UN-backed Fayez al-Sarraz is under attack by a Caliphate hyphener-controlled force controlling much of the south and east of the country. He is supported by states including Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, and supports Mr Sarraj to Turkey and Qatar.
The EU’s new arms blockade replaces another EU. Operation Sofia – the mission that was destroyed – was rescuing migrants off Libya’s coast and taking them to Europe. Italy, Austria and Hungary objected to the arrival of immigrants. Operation Sofia has been inactive since last March, but has never officially ended
Mr Burrell hoped to restore Operation Sofia. And criticized Sunday for stopping Austria’s revival, saying it was unrealistic for a landless Navy to use this national veto.
Austria has taken a stern anti-immigrant stance under its current Chancellor, Sebastien Kurz, and its position was supported by another landlocked country, Hungary, whose right-wing populist government has also drawn a tight line against the immigration.
“We have all agreed to create a mission that will prevent the flow of weapons to Libya,” Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio told reporters, although the first American arms embargo was announced in May 25, but it was widely violated. Reinstating sanctions is seen as crucial to stabilizing the Libyan conflict. Recent efforts The war broke out there to recover.
However, Mr De Maio also said that if the mission creates a “pull factor”, meaning that ships attract immigrants, the mission will be closed. “
Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schachlenberg similarly said that Vienna would be aware of any signs to attract immigrants to Europe, saying the mission would take weeks to set up.
“There is an initial sensation that we now want a military operation, not a humanitarian mission,” he said.
Mr Borel said he hoped that by the end of March, the expedition could patrol and work internationally on the waters, not Libya.