Training of Libya's coastguard is one the "pre-eminent" tasks of the European Union's Irini anti-trafficking mission in the Mediterrranean, according to Italy's defence minister Lorenzo Guerini.
"Thanks to Italy, this function has once again become a pre-eminent one," Guerini told the parliament's foreign affairs and defence committees at a hearing Wednesday on Italy's participation in international missions.
The Libyan coastguard training role is function that Irini shares with its predecessor, the EU's Mediterranean rescue mission Sophia, he said.
"Irini also carries out activities around the upholding of human rights and gender equality as well as the treatment of people rescued at sea," Guerini said.
Irini began in April last year and uses navy ships, planes, satellites and drones to monitor the 2011 United Nations arms embargo against Libya.
The Irini mission is also tasked with preventing illegal exports of oil and continuing to help train the Libyan coastguard, especially in their task of preventing migrant smugglers setting migrant boats out to sea.