Italy has delivered to Libya three patrol boats pursuant to the terms of Italy’s bi-lateral agreement with Libya to control irregular immigration. The three boats that were turned over to Libya in a ceremony attended by Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni supplement three patrol boats which were delivered by Italy earlier.
Maroni spoke at the ceremony and said “Italy and Libya alone cannot carry the burden of a migration problem that touches the whole of Europe. … [The European Commission] has not done much to date [on the migration issue]. In recent days I travelled to Ghana and Niger to sign bilateral accords and it is the first time these countries sign such agreements [on immigration] with a European state. This shows Italy is taking a leading role.”
And unrelated to the new Libyan boats, four new Armed Forces of Malta patrol boats were scheduled to arrive on Wednesday in Malta from Australia. The new patrol boats cost €9.3m and were funded in part by the EU.