Minister Abela warns of more daring smugglers and traffickers in the Mediterranean

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion, Carmelo Abela, has warned of more daring smugglers and traffickers in Central Mediterranean, following the absence of operation EUNAVFORMED.

During an EU Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg City, Minister Abela told his EU colleagues that the absence of this operation’s naval assets in its area of operation is not helping maintain security in the Mediterranean.

He continued by reiterating the strategic importance of the operation, which was established in 2015 to contribute to wider EU efforts to disrupt the business model of human smuggling and trafficking networks in the Southern Central Mediterranean and prevent the further loss of migrants’ lives at sea.

Minister Abela took his cue from the 6th South EU Summit that convened in Valletta last Friday, pointing out that an important element of the Valletta Declaration issued at the end of that Summit is security in the Mediterranean Sea, which is crucial for Europe’s own security and stability.