The Malta Independent 18 November 2017, Saturday

Migrant crisis: EU limits sale of inflatable boats to Libya

Associated Press Monday, 17 July 2017, 15:56 Last update: about 5 months ago

The European Union is allowing members to restrict sales of inflatable boats and outboard motors to Libya in an effort to stop dangerous migrant smuggling across the Mediterranean.

EU foreign ministers agreed Monday to allow member countries to ban such export or supply "where there are reasonable grounds to believe that they will be used by people smugglers and human traffickers."

A statement said the measure will also apply to boats and motors transiting through the EU, but not to fishermen or others with legitimate need for them.

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The foreign ministers also agreed to extend a border aid mission in Libya through the end of 2018 that helps Libyan security forces, notably in the lawless south.

Migrant crossings from Libya to Italy on unsafe boats have climbed in recent weeks.

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