By Libya Herald staff.
Tunis, 3 June 2015:
Foreign Minister Mohamed Dairi was in Brussels today for talks with EU’s foreign policy chief . . .[restrict]Federica Mogherini, together with UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni on the EU’s proposed navy operation EUNAVFOR MED, designed to put an end to cross-Mediterranean human trafficking by smugglers operating out of Libya.
According to the EU, the talks also covered terrorism in Libya and the “urgency of Libyans reaching an agreement on a National Unity Government under the auspices of the UN-led dialogue process”.
The EU has been working on a draft proposal to submit to the UN Security Council (UNSCR) which would authorise European naval action against the smugglers in Libyan territorial waters, but it needs Libya’s consent.
The Italian Foreign Minister was present because EUNAVFOR MED is led an Italian commander while his British counterpart was there because the UK is UNSCR penholder on the subject.
A statement from Brussels said the meeting had been “very constructive” and that contacts with Libyans, the UN and key partners in the region “would continue”.
However, Dairi went on the record today saying that while Libya was interested “in cooperation with Europe in order to address the growing terrorism inside the country as well as in order to address the problem of illegal immigration”, it would not approve any military operation.
Libya’s UN ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi has also signalled the government’s opposition to the naval plan unless the EU agreed to deal only with it, and not with the administration in Tripoli. [/restrict]