BRUSSELS --- The EU is rolling out a new naval operation in the Mediterranean to crack down on arms-smuggling into Libya, as it peels further away from migrant-rescues at sea.
Details are still being hammered out but foreign affairs ministers in Brussels on Monday (17 February) reached a political agreement to deploy aerial, satellite, and maritime assets, along with warships, in an effort to curb the weapons smuggling.
EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters, when asked if the warships would be mandated to stop suspected smugglers, "For sure, they are not just having a promenade."
The proposal follows a declaration made last month in Berlin when world leaders pledged to push for a ceasefire in Libya and guarantee an arms embargo.
But issues of how many warships there will be, and rules of engagement, remain as yet unanswered. The mission is set for launch at the end of March, and is relegated to an operational area off the eastern coast of Libya. (end of excerpt)
Click here for the full story, on the EU Observer website.