The European Union agreed to organise a sea and air military mission in the east of the Mediterranean in an effort to stop armaments trafficking between rival fighters and militias in Libya. The mission will also prevent the breaching of the ceasefire agreement and provides hope for rival groups in the Libyan conflict to reach an lasting agreement.
EU member states agreed to start the military mission in a bid to enforce the UN embargo on transfer of armaments towards Libya.
During a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council, member states agreed that the sea and air mission is held in the east and not in the central Mediterranean route, where migrant traffickers operate. This will prevent sending a message for more migrants to flee Libya with the aim of being rescued by the EU naval mission.
Malta, which was represented by Minister Evarist Bartolo, gave its support for the military mission against the armaments trafficking.
“At least we agreed on this – one has still to see the details but we will continue to stress that, similar to our neighbour Libya, we will be included also in the current discussion, because we think that we can contribute. In the past, we assisted where the need arose; we also trained coast guards and we are ready to do the same”, Minister Bartolo said.
The mission has led to a dispute between European countries as they fear that it may encourage more migrants to cross the sea towards Europe, with Italian Foreign Minister Luigi di Maio saying that if this happens the mission will be prolonged.