Malta abandons the new EU Libya sea patrol mission

May 8 – On Friday Malta announced to its European Union partners that it would no longer take part in new missions in the Mediterranean sea to stop the arm trafficking towards Libya.

According to what said by two EU diplomats and a spokesman of the Maltese government, the decision has been taked after that, according to La Valletta, EU failed to help them with migrants arriving from Libya, where the conflict has recently escalated.

Harbour, Valletta (Photo by Henry M. Trotter)

An EU spokesman refused to comment directly on Malta’s decision and stated that the mission “is a concrete example of how the EU wants to contribute to the peaceful settlement of the conflict on Libya.”

This operation, called Irini, counts vessels from France, Greece and Italy, one Maltese naval boarding team and three patrol aircrafts from Germany, Luxembourg and Poland.

Even Maltese Foreign Minister Evarist Bartolo recently complained that Italy and Malta were being left alone to deal the great flow of migrants from North Africa. Especially now, with EU borders closed by the coronavirus pandemic, governments appear reluctant to receive migrants.

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