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Inept EU plans ENCOURAGE more migrants to flock to the bloc, furious coastguard reveals
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Inept EU plans ENCOURAGE more migrants to flock to the bloc, furious coastguard reveals

Source: express.co.uk

Officials from Libya, which is rapidly becoming the chief focus of worried EU leaders, have claimed Operation Sophia, which is designed to prevent people smuggling, is simply fueling the problem.

Migrants looking to come into Europe have been increasingly turning their efforts towards Libya since the EU struck a controversial deal with Turkey to prevent migrants travelling to Greece.

But international laws state that European naval vessels must stay at least 12 nautical miles from the shire of the North African country.

Opportunistic smugglers have been taking advantage of this situation by moving boats out to sea, setting their course for international waters.

Providing they do not stray from Libyan waters, they face no chance of getting caught.

But migrants and smugglers have been making the perils journey safe in the knowledge that authorities are likely to rescue them if they get into trouble - more than 13,000 migrants have been rescued so far.

Colonel Tawfik Alskir, head of operations for the Libyan coastguards, said: “People, when they get rescued, call their friends to tell them that there are EU vessels only 20 miles from Libyan waters to save them.”

But despite thousands of migrants being rescued so far, Libya does not have enough resources to cope with the problem for much longer.

Due to the growing threat facing Libya from the Islamic State, only two boats are available in the Misrata area to police the coastline.

And the beleaguered bloc could be subjected to further migrant woes as the EU-Turkey deal appears evermore fragile.

Yesterday, the EU’s ambassador to Turkey, Hansjörg Haber, walked out on his role less than a year into the job.

Fat cats in Brussels are now terrified that a broken deal with Turkey could bring migrant numbers closer to the one million mark that landed in Greece last year.

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