Italy's Salvini renews call on EU to change Operation Sophia's rules or close it

Italy's Salvini renews call on EU to change Operation Sophia's rules or close it

January 23, 2019 - 20:14
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Written By: AbdulkaderAssad

The Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini voiced Wednesday his rejection to the current mandate of European Union's Operation Sophia off the coast of Libya, demanding a change of operations or termination.

Salvini also indicated that the problem with Operation Sophia was that all the rescued migrants arrived exclusively to Italy, as was agreed with Italy's former prime minister, Matteo Renzi.

Salvini added that in order for the mission to continue the rules had to be changed.

Meanwhile, Germany has suspended its work at Operation Sophia and will not be sending any more ships to take part in the anti-people smuggling mission in the Mediterranean Sea, Deutsche Welle reported.

Responding to the German action, Salvini said Italy's ports are open to those who can legitimately enter the country but not the foreign NGOs such as the German and Dutch ones, which have no permit to operate in Italy.

"If one country withdrew, it would not be a problem for us. Operation Sophia brought all rescued migrants to Italy." Salvin said.

The EU extended Operation Sophia off Libyan coast to next March amid Italian rejection to keep the mission's rules as they currently are.

 

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