Just after the EU’s foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell urged Europe to “develop an appetite for power” to better chart its own independent course in solving various international crises impacting Europe, the EU has agreed to deploy warships in order to enforce a United Nations arms embargo on the war-torn country.
The EU has stressed, however, that this is not an extension of its prior controversial mission to rescue migrants and refugees in the Mediterranean:
Josep Borrell, the EU’s chief diplomat, announced that 27 foreign ministers had agreed to launch a new operation with naval ships, planes and satellites in order to enforce the UN arms embargo on Libya.
To counter objections that the operation could morph into a rescue mission, Borrell promised the ships would be withdrawn if they became “a pull factor” that encouraged people to attempt the risky crossing from Libya to Europe. This commitment helped lift opposition to the mission from Italy and Austria, whose governments had blocked an earlier compromise.