The European Union's Irini anti-smuggling mission in the Mediterranean should re-start its training and equipping of Libya's navy and its coastguard, Italy's defence minister Lorenzo Guerini said on Friday.
"It is essential that Irini takes on again the role of training and equipping Libya's navy and its coastguard, Guerini told a meeting of EU defence ministers in Lisbon.
All European countries need to make an adequate contribution to Irini in order for the mission to be effective, Guerini recalled, underlining that the EU Training Mission in Somalia (EUTM) is severely under-funding.
Irini and EUTM are both Italian-led as was Irini's predecessor Sophia, which had a broader mandate than Irini including rescuing migrants.
Sophia, operated from 2015-2020 and trained Libyan coast guard as part of wider effort to create a Libyan search and rescue zone in the Mediterranean.