Libyan Foreign Minister Najla Mangoush received the keys to the first patrol ship funded by the Visegrád Group, designed to curb people smuggling and patrol the Mediterranean shore, in Adria, in Italy, on Tuesday.
Olivér Várhelyi, the European commissioner for neighbourhood policy and enlargement, said the 20 meter ship, able to carry 200 people, was the first to be fully funded by Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. The Visegrad Group pledged in 2017 to deliver 4 ships to Libyan border patrol, he said.
Here is his Facebook post:
The ships will help to “curb illegal migration across the sea and to block a route which people smugglers and criminal organisations use to enrich themselves,” he said. Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani, who also attended the event, said Libya was a key starting point for illegal migrants in Europe. The European Union and Italy also support the project in which Libya will have further 2 ships built by year-end and will receive two used ones. Italy has trained Libyan border patrol troops and will oversee the maintenance of the ships.