Libya sends special envoy to speak with EU on naval mission

Special envoy sent by Libya to speak with European Union about unprecedented naval mission

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Libya confirmed on Tuesday that a special convoy had been sent to speak with the European Union about the 28 member bloc’s proposed naval mission in the Mediterranean intended to use military force to stop boats and “human smugglers” smuggling people into Europe.

Libya’s mission shared a statement to the United Nations saying that the country’s internationally recognised government “confirms its total eagerness to do its effective role in controlling the mass migration which claimed the lives of thousands of people.”

The statement did not clarify if Libya would assist the EU naval operation in its territorial waters, however, it says, “We are seeking in all seriousness to cast out this phenomenon as soon as possible and to stop the flow of immigrants to EU countries.”

EU foreign and defence ministers agreed to the mission, which would involve destroying boats of smugglers completing the voyage to Europe, at a meeting in Brussels in Belgium on May 18.

The Tripoli based central General National Council (GNC) special envoy, Nuri Bait, Almal, has been sent to the EU to discuss the current proposal, “we are looking forward for an early engagement with the European leaders,” said the statement.

The EU has made many proposals to deal with the Mediterranean migrant crisis which has so far claimed the lives of more than 1,850 people.

The most recent was a naval mission agreed upon by the EU foreign and defence ministers on May 18 and expected to start in June, which aims to destroy the boats owned by smugglers carrying migrants to Europe before they reach the coast.

TRTWorld and agencies