Italy began a limited naval mission on Wednesday to help Libya’s coastguard curb migrant flows. Interior ministers of Germany and Italy have demanded a joint EU patrol mission along Libya’s border with Niger in order to stop a migrant flow to Europe.
An Italian patrol boat entered Libyan waters and headed towards the port of Tripoli within minutes of a vote in Italy’s parliament authorizing the deployment. A second vessel was expected to join it in the coming days.
“[We will] provide logistical, technical and operational support for Libyan naval vessels, helping them and supporting them in shared and coordinated actions,” Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti said ahead of Wednesday’s vote.