Statewatch News Online, 17 February 2020 (02/20): No saving lives at sea

17 February 2020 — Statewatch

EU diplomats call for changes to Operation Sophia so “chances to conduct rescue operations are lower”

The European External Action Service (EEAS) has called on EU governments to limit the saving of lives at sea by Operation Sophia. A note sent to the member states’ permanent representatives in Brussels says the mission should prioritise the enforcement of a UN arms embargo on Libya, rather than monitoring migrant smuggling activities, and suggests that ships could be placed “at least 100km off the Libyan coast, where chances to conduct rescue operations are lower.”

See: Meeting of the Council (Foreign Affairs) on 17 February 2020 – Preparation c) Libya (5995/20, EU RESTRICTED, 12 Februray 2020, pdf)

The issue is being discussed today by the EU Foreign Affairs Council, where there will be an “exchange of views” on Libya
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