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EU mulls naval blockade of Libya to controls arms, oil & refugee flows

EU mulls naval blockade of Libya to controls arms, oil & refugee flows

The EU is discussing the possibility of setting up a naval blockade of crisis-plagued Libya. The move could help to control oil exports, stem the movement of weapons fueling the conflict, and prevent the flood of refugees from the country into Europe.

“We discussed different options for an EU presence, different ways in which the EU can support also through security measures. This could mean also some naval presence,” European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini said during a press conference after talks in Riga on Saturday.

The discussions, including an earlier-debated option of NATO patrols in the Mediterranean, follow pressure from southern EU countries, particularly France and Italy.

Last week, a UN panel of experts also recommended the establishment of a monitoring force that would prevent the illegal export of oil in addition to monitoring the arms embargo. The special UN envoy to Libya Bernardino Leon told the Italian Corriere della Serra that he was “certain” the “necessary” mission would be approved by the UN.

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