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EU approves anti-migration military operation

June 20, 2015 at 12:52 pm

EU defence ministers meeting in Brussels agreed on Friday to launch the first stage of the military operation against people-smugglers in the Mediterranean from the beginning of the next week, AFP has reported.

Diplomatic sources say that all conditions have been met so EU foreign ministers will announce the start of the mission in their meeting on Monday. Other sources confirmed that the member states agreed to provide the ships and aircraft needed to start collecting intelligence information for the mission.

In April, EU leaders held an emergency meeting after the death of 800 migrants off the Italian coast, and announced that they would introduce a comprehensive programme to tackle the problem. There have been calls for military action against the people-smugglers.

Once the collection of intelligence is complete, military action will be taken against smugglers’ boats and the smugglers will be arrested. A third stage will include operations in Libyan territorial waters and possibly inside Libya itself.