Sophia mission must end if rules not changed, Italian Deputy Premier says

Baku, January 26, AZERTAC

Deputy Premier and Interior Minister of Italy Matteo Salvini said that the EU’s Sophia naval mission in the Mediterranean to combat human trafficking must be scrapped unless the rules are changed, as it places too much of the burden on Italy, according to ANSA.

“The point of the Sophia naval mission is that all the rescued immigrants disembark exclusively in Italy after an ingenious agreement signed by the government of (ex-premier Matteo) Renzi. Either the rules change or the mission ends,” Salvini told Radio Anch'io.

Sources close to European High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini said that the EU may indeed close Sophia.

“Operation Sophia… combatted the trafficking of human beings in the Mediterranean up to the point of almost stopping it completely, it trained the Libyan coast guard and it saved human lives,” the sources said.

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