- Title: Italy hands over four patrol boats to stem illegal migration flow
- Date: 15th May 2017
- Summary: TRIPOLI, LIBYA (MAY 15, 2017) (REUTERS) BOATS DOCKED AT PORT VARIOUS OF MILITARY PERSONNEL STANDING BESIDE BOAT (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) ITALIAN INTERIOR MINISTER, MARCO MINNITI, SAYING: "Naturally this cooperation will continue, this is the first group of boats, in the coming weeks we will complete the training in this case of personnel from the interior ministry, and we will proceed with the delivery of six more boats with the objective of having 10 boats in total. This is a coast guard contingent that will make the Libyan coast guard one of the most important coast guards of North Africa." VARIOUS OF OFFICIALS STANDING ON BOATS ITALIAN INTERIOR MINISTER, MARCO MINNITI, WALKING ONTO BOAT MINNITI TALKING TO OFFICIALS WHILE MEDIA ARE TAKING PHOTOGRAPHS MINNITI TALKING TO BOAT CAPTAINS VARIOUS OF BOATS DOCKED AT PORT (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) ITALIAN INTERIOR MINISTER, MARCO MINNITI, SAYING: "From this point on (they) can contribute to a double operation: the first is the control of Libyan waters, which is highly important for the stability of this country. The second is to contribute with other European countries and Italy to the security of the central Mediterranean, with a capacity to intervene against human traffickers and with preventative action against terrorism." FLAG ON TOP OF BOAT BOATS DOCKED AT PORT
- Embargoed: 29th May 2017 19:56
- Keywords: Coast Guard Migrants Libya Italy
- Location: TRIPOLI, LIBYA
- City: TRIPOLI, LIBYA
- Country: Libya
- Topics: Asylum/Immigration/Refugees,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0016GYAGJR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Italy gave the Libyan coast guard four patrol boats on Monday (May 15) to beef up Libya's ability to stop people smuggling, but the support worries humanitarian groups operating rescue ships near the Libyan coast.
Italy and the European Union promised in February to spend millions of euros to help the Tripoli government upgrade its coast guard fleet, and some 90 crew have so far been trained by the EU.
Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti, who was in Tripoli for the hand-over ceremony, said another six patrol boats would be delivered "in the coming weeks".
But Libyan officials say they need far more equipment than the vessels being delivered by Italy, none of which is new. Smugglers in Libya have packed hundreds of thousands of migrants attempting to reach Europe onto unsafe boats over the past four years, and thousands have died trying to make the crossing.
And humanitarian groups say that at sea, Libyan coast guards have put the rescue crews and migrants at risk in several incidents. The groups are concerned not only for their own safety but for that of migrants trapped in Libya.
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