EU agrees Mediterranean naval mission to tackle people smugglers

EU foreign policy chief Mogherini arrives at a meeting of EU foreign and defence ministers in BrusselsBy Robin Emmott and Alastair Macdonald BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union agreed a naval mission on Monday to target gangs smuggling migrants from Libya but parts of a broader plan to deal with the influx began to unravel in a row over national quotas for housing asylum seekers. Many hundreds of deaths at sea, including the drowning of up to 900 on a single vessel in the Mediterranean last month, have jolted European governments into a more robust response, but beyond greater funding for rescue operations, the EU is divided on how to act as anti-immigrant parties gain support at home. Now the planning starts," EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said of the naval mission, adding that the operation could start next month. "There is a clear sense of urgency," Mogherini said of the migrants, most of whom make for her native Italy.


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