Macron criticized for European army push by Italian MEP
A leaked document revealed that Brussels was finalizing plans for “large-scale” operations in the North African state in the coming months. It will pit the EU against Chad, Egypt, Jordan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, all of which are involved in the brutal civil war in Libya. The internal report, obtained through the EU Observer website, underlined the need for an EU military mission in the region to combat human and arms trafficking.
“In the long term and when conditions permit, a CSDP military engagement with a mandate to support the process of security sector reform in the military domain should be considered. “
The dossier does not name the non-EU which continues to be involved in what Eurocrats call a “competitive situation” in Libya.
But this suggests that Turkey had “continued to refuse to carry out inspections” of suspected arms shipments to Libya in violation of a United Nations embargo.
Turkey sent troops to Libya last year and the country’s defense minister posted information on social media about the interception of migrants off the Libyan coast.
The EU fears Ankara will gain influence in the bloc by taking control of the central Mediterranean migration route.
It already controls the Greek route, which is one of the main routes used by illegal migrants to get to Europe.
Josep Borrell is the EU’s top foreign diplomat
Brussels hopes that the offer of training and new equipment could help the bloc to become a more dominant force.
“The supply of equipment should be linked to the acceptance of the associated European training by the Libyan authorities,” the report said.
The long Libyan coast has served as a starting point for traffickers who send thousands of migrants to the EU every year.
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European army could be deployed in Libya to fight human and arms smuggling operations
The document states: “The Libyan authorities have expressed the need for EU support at Libya’s borders, including in the south.
“If the Libyan authorities agree, it could open up the possibility of obtaining overflight rights for EU aerial surveillance assets over Libyan territory. “
EU ambassadors are expected to discuss the plans soon, but the Commission’s foreign affairs arm has yet to announce the formal tabling of the proposals.
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Its Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le Drian echoed the EU report in a speech on Thursday before the UN Security Council in New York.
He said: “It is time to implement a gradual, symmetrical and sequenced timetable for the departure of foreign elements on both sides.
“The European Union, Italy and France are ready to do more to support the training and equipment of the Libyan Coast Guard.