Libya – Operation Irini - Q&A from the press briefing (1 April 2020)

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Q: Josep Borrell indicated that a new EU military operation had been launched off the coast of Libya. What are you expecting from this operation?

A: France welcomes the launch yesterday of the EU military mission, Operation Irini, which will allow it to contribute, through the use of naval, air and satellite assets, to implementing the UN arms embargo. This operation reflects the Europeans’ resolute commitment to working together to defend the political and security interests at stake in the context of the Libyan crisis.

Through this operation, the EU is striving to enforce compliance with the arms embargo as well as calls to refrain from interference in the Libyan conflict, at a time when both violations and an influx of foreign mercenaries are ongoing. The Covid-19 pandemic makes efforts to achieve a ceasefire following the Berlin conference of January 19 even more urgent.

France intends to actively contribute to this new operation, which should help bring about a de-escalation. It calls on representatives of the two Libyan parties to commit to the ceasefire agreement proposed on February 23 during UN-sponsored talks in Geneva and to the resumption of the political dialogue, with the support of Libya’s neighbors and the African Union.