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    European Council President Donald Tusk holds a news conference after receiving British Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit letter in notice of the UK's intention to leave the bloc under Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty to EU Council President Donald Tusk in Brussels, Belgium March 29, 2017.

    EU Leaders to Intensify Efforts to Tackle Irregular Migration in Mediterranean

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    Leaders of the EU member states agreed that everyone will be working harder in the coming weeks to better coordinate efforts on putting an end to illegal migration across the Mediterranean Sea and providing more support for Italy, according to European Council President Donald Tusk.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — Leaders of the EU member states have agreed to step up their efforts in coordinating actions aimed at putting an end to illegal migration across the Mediterranean Sea and providing more support for Italy, European Council President Donald Tusk said on Friday.

    Following the conclusion of the EU summit earlier in the day, Tusk said that the leaders had discussed the situation in Libya and the Mediterranean migration route.

    "Leaders agreed that everyone will be working harder in the coming weeks to better coordinate our efforts and support Italy more," Tusk told reporters.

    The two-day summit of EU leaders kicked off in Brussels on Thursday.

    According to the latest data from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), as of June 21, almost 84,000 migrants arrived to Europe via the Mediterranean. The recorded figure for the same period in 2016 was about 216,000.

    In July 2015, the European Union launched Operation Sophia, previously dubbed EUNAVFOR Med (EU Naval Forces in the Mediterranean). It is aimed at stemming the flow of migrants and refugees from North Africa and the Middle East to Europe through the Mediterranean.

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    European Council, Donald Tusk, Mediterranean Sea, Italy
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