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Libya’s GNA Foreign Minister protests EU’s softness on arms flow to warlord Haftar

The Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Taher Sayala and European Union’s Foreign policy chief Josep Borrell held a phone call, the GNA Foreign Ministry confirmed, to discuss the ongoing crisis in Libya.

“In order to end the air attacks on civilians and innocent people, the arming of Haftar militia from the ground and air have to be stopped,” said Sayala, while Borrell acknowledged he was well aware of the aid Haftar received.

The EU announced Tuesday the launch of a new naval mission in the Mediterranean Sea, aimed at enforcing the U.N. arms embargo on Libya, after Italy blocked a previous operation claiming that the warships attracted migrants.

The new operation, dubbed Irini, the Greek word for “peace,” was launched and will be carried out for a year as of last Wednesday.

The European Council said it will have as “its core task the implementation of the U.N. arms embargo through the use of aerial, satellite and maritime assets.”

“In particular the mission will be able to carry out inspections of vessels on the high seas off the coast of Libya suspected to be carrying arms or related material to and from Libya,” a statement said.

It will also gather information about illegal fuel and oil smuggling from Libya and help build up the Libyan Coast Guard, including by training its personnel.

The EU’s previous naval mission, Operation Sophia, was set up after tens of thousands of migrants began attempting potentially perilous crossings of the Mediterranean in 2015 in search of better lives in Europe.

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