ANTALYA, Turkey — The EU’s planned naval military operation to crack down on people traffickers in the Mediterranean moved closer to fruition Thursday, with Germany confident on winning the necessary UN Security Council resolution and details of the mission emerging.
The proposed mission is a crucial plank of the EU’s strategy to fight human smugglers who put migrants seeking a better life in Europe on potentially fatal voyages from the North African coast, in particular Libya, towards EU waters.
The EU wants to be able to intercept and board the boats in Libyan waters before they reach European jurisdiction, something that would require a UN resolution.
Speaking on the sidelines of the meeting of NATO foreign ministers in the Turkish city of Antalya, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said he expected such approval to be forthcoming.
“My impression is that there is no veto in principle from one of the veto powers in the Security Council of the United Nations.
“It looks to me that at the current moment it more a question of formulations. I hope that my assessment is right,” he said.