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    EU Anti-Smuggling Operation Saves 32,000 Migrants in 2016 - Mogherini

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    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)

    The European Union’s operation aimed at saving lives of 32,000 migrants in 2016 was successfull, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Wednesday.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — The European Union’s operation Sophia, targeting human trafficking in the Mediterranean, saved lives of 32,000 migrants in 2016 and helped to detain hundreds of smugglers, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Wednesday.

    "Operation Sophia alone saved last year more than 32,000 people and apprehended more than 100 smugglers," Mogherini told journalists in Brussels.

    At the same time, the EU diplomat noted that "last year, we faced more than 4,500 losses of lives in the Central Mediterranean route."

    "It is essential that we all do more … this is why we presented today jointly a package of additional concrete measures to contribute to the Malta summit discussion of the heads of state and government and to suggest … concrete actions that can be done," Mogherini stated ahead of an informal meeting of EU heads of state and government in Malta scheduled for February.

    The European Union launched EUNAVFOR Operation Sophia in July 2015 to stem the flow of migrants and refugees from North Africa and the Middle East, particularly from Libya to Italy, as well as to reduce people smuggling across the Mediterranean.

    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)


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