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Italy urges adequate equipment for EU's Irini mission

03 giugno 2020 | 23.46
LETTURA: 1 minuti

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Italy's government hopes the European Union will give its Irini mission in the Mediterranean the necessary equipment to enforce an international arms embargo against war-ravaged Libya, foreign minister Luigi Di Maio said on Wednesday.

"We hope Operation Irini will receive sufficient contributions in terms of planes and ships and that its satellite capacity is rapidly activated," Di Maio told reporters in Rome.

This will ensure the "neutrality of the mandate which for Italy is vital," Di Maio stated.

He was speaking at a press conference in Rome with his French counterpart Yves Le Drian after the pair held talks.

"The massive influx of arms to the warring sides must stop as must all forms of foreign interference (in Libya)," Di Maio said.

There is a "fundamental convergence" between Italy and France on Libya said Le Drian.

The oil-rich country's future "must not be exploited by external powers," Le Drian said.

"Incursions and arms from the foreign powers that are backing the various factions must cease."

France and Italy are "determined to ensure" this process, Le Drian said.

"It is crucial, also for the security of the Mediterranean region."

EU foreign ministers approved the launch of Operation Irini at the end of March. The mission aims to operate in the air and sea and with satellites.

Irini will also monitor illegal oil exports, prevent human trafficking and help train Libya's coast guard and navy as a complementary task.

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