Italian Defense Minister Mauro looking for partners to wage war on migrants
Tradotto da Francesco Giannatiempo
Editato da Fausto Giudice Фаусто Джудиче فاوستو جيوديشي
Afghanistan, Syria, F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, but, above all, “migrants emergency” and security in the Mediterranean area: those were the core themes of the meeting that took place in Washington on January 15, between Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his Italian counterpart Mario Mauro.
“Secretary Hagel praised Italy’s contributions to capacity building in emerging democracies in the Middle East and North Africa,” stated Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby after the meeting, which was almost ignored by the Italian mass media. Italy recently began providing security training to Libyan general purpose forces, and will help to stabilize Afghanistan as a framework nation in Afghanistan’s western region after the current NATO mission concludes at the end of the year, he added. Both leaders, added Kirby, agreed to raise the Mediterranean refugee issue at the upcoming NATO Military Committee meeting in Brussels this month.
Minister Mauro emphasized the danger of migrations, in order to obtain an effective U.S. support to Mare Nostrum Operation, launched on October 2013 by the Italian armed forces in the Strait of Sicily.
“Criminal groups with potential links to terrorism are profiting from running migrant vessels across the Mediterranean to European shores and is calling on the US to keep focused on resurgent Islamic terrorism in the region”, told Mauro a small group of reporters in Washington. Mauro is calling on the US to keep focused on resurgent Islamic terrorism in the region, and told that Italy is using drones and submarines to counter the profitable trafficking of migrants from North Africa, which was potentially bankrolling terrorism.
“European governments and public opinion see this as a problem of illegal immigration — this is not my vision,” Mauro added. “My thinking is that the situation is linked to the problem of international security and the security of the Mediterranean. It’s important that the US understands better what is going on in the Mediterranean”. Mauro said the normal flow of boats from Libya is being augmented by sailings from Egypt organized by “criminal multinational organizations,” which had handled 25,000 paying passengers in the past year, the majority fleeing the war in Syria.
Mimmo Paladino, Monument to Migrants, Lampedusa, July 2013
Traffickers are using mother ships, he said, which would tow smaller and less seaworthy vessels to within about 200 kilometers of the Italian coast, at which point about 1,000 passengers would be loaded onto the smaller vessels and released. With each passenger paying around $3,000, each sailing was netting about $3 million, he said, with proceeds heading to international criminal organizations, not excluding some possible links with terrorist groups in Syria and Somalia. In Libya, he added, it is hard to tell the difference between criminal and terrorist groups involved in trafficking.
“There are 28 brigades that call themselves jihadists, but they are often criminals,” he said. South of the Libyan border, he added, “chaos” reigns, with thousands of terrorists at large. Mauro said he believes the ships could also have been used to ferry terrorists into Europe.
According to Italian Minister, the current tensions and conflicts in North Africa and Middle East do force the Western Partners to take definite decisions and undertakings. “I am determined to convince our allies to share a long-term common vision, and we probably need a new strategy for the area and one crucial element is the role of the US.” he stated. That, he said, requires a stronger relationship between the US and Europe, “an Atlantic perspective, not just a European or an American perspective.”
Mauro, although, does not pretend he’s not disappointed for what has been done until today by European Union to contain and contrast the “illegal” immigration. “Lampedusa is the border of Europe, not just Italy; and we are convinced that Europe has to do more to guarantee security in the Mediterranean,” he said.
Only the small Slovenia offered its contribution to the air-sea operation “Mare Nostrum” with the multi-task ship “Triglav 11” (Svetlyak class). That unity, able to reach 30 speed-knots and armed with heavy machine-guns and light guns, left the harbor of Koper on December 12, and reached the port of Augusta (Siracusa) three days later, integrating in the “apparatus put into operation to increase the security level of human life, and to contribute to the sea migratory flows”.
The Slovenian Navy, besides of the 44 crew-troopers, sent a liaison team to the Patrol Force Command Headquarters (COMFORPAT, Comando delle forze da Pattugliamento) in Augusta. “The Slovenian armed forces task is to monitor the inland waters situation,” explained a note released by the Ministry of Defense. “The surveillance sector assigned to the Triglav ship is located East of the Sicilian coastline, including an area of 30 x 30 nautical miles (nearly 3.100 square kms)”. Still unknown are the rules of engagement and the handing formalities to the Italian authorities of people rescued from shipwrecks.
Slovenia’s decision to take part in “Mare Nostrum” Operation has been pondered during a meeting – October 18, 2013 in Rome – between Minister Mario Mauro and his Slovenian counterpart, Roman Jakic. On January 22, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia, Alenka Bratusek, came to Augusta to visit the armed forces contingent employed in monitoring the Strait of Sicily. Over there, a tireless Mauro was waiting for her, and he also took Bratusek to inspect the Umberto I of Siracusa “first hosting centre” – one the many non-places of this island, where hundreds of migrants and asylum seekers “rescued” in water by Navy units are crowded under more and more critical sanitary conditions.
Waiting for USA and EU to answer the call to share the military intervention to counter immigration in the Mediterranean area, during the Italian-Russian summit that took place in Trieste on November 27, 2013, the Letta Government asked President Vladimir Putin a “common commitment” to tackle the humanitarian emergency of the Syrian refugees. “We talked about Libya as well, and we shared our concerns for the situation of instability regarding the areas to the South and to the East of the Mediterranean region”, told Letta at the end of the summit.
Per concessione di Tlaxcala
Data dell’articolo originale: 22/01/2014
URL dell’articolo: http://www.tlaxcala-int.org/article.asp?reference=11208
Originale Italiano: http://www.tlaxcala-int.org/article.asp?reference=11173