An intense week of institutional meetings in Washington D.C. and New York for the Operation Commander, Rear Admiral Stefano TURCHETTO, presenting the state of play of Operation IRINI.
The Mediterranean Sea has always been a strategic area of trades and cultural exchanges of global interest, a crossroad of three continents. The European Union has developed, not limited to this region, a maritime security strategy based on the cooperation with neighboring countries, regional stakeholders and, of course, with NATO. The strategy is implemented, in full respect of the international laws, through an integrated cooperative approach of which the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP), missions and operations like IRINI are essential, being able to grant surveillance of the area, protection of EU maritime interests, maritime interdiction activities and support to maritime law enforcement, capacity building.
In particular, Operation EUNAVFOR MED IRINI is a EU Joint and Combined Operation with the primary task to support the implementation of the UN arms embargo on Libya, disrupting the illegal arms trafficking in that country by sea. The visit of the Operation Commander in the United States is part of a wide engagement effort with the objective of meeting with Key Leaders of the US Departments of Defense and Department of State, the Academic World and specialized think-tanks, relevant UN bodies (Security Council and North Africa and Middle East Departments), EU member states’ diplomatic and military representatives to relevant institutions and stakeholders.
To mention, among many others, H. E. Ambassador Stavros Lambrinidis, Head of the European Delegation to the United States, H. E. Olof Skoog, Head of the European delegation to the United Nations, the Deputy Director Joint Staff for Middle East / Africa, Rear Admiral Adan G. Cruz, Ms Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Africa and Ms Jacqueline Seck, UN Director of the Northern Africa Division; H.E. Ruchira Kamboj, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations and current President of the Security Council.
Rear Admiral Turchetto also briefed both in Washington and New York the EU member states’ military and political advisors of respective local diplomatic missions illustrating the mandate and objectives of the operation and its latest updates. Thanks to H. E. Nathalie Broadhurst, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, for organising and hosting the extraordinary meeting of military and political delegates of all the Security Council Members States, incumbent and incoming, Rear Admiral Turchetto had the honor to directly address the nations’ main experts in charge to verify that Operation IRINI is working in accordance with and implementing the UN relevant resolutions in the interest of the whole international community.
The wide appreciation received, confirmed the global importance of Operation IRINI far beyond the Mediterranean Sea where the women and men of the EU Naval Force Mediterranean (EUNAVFOR MED), work 24/7 to provide security and stability under the UN and EU mandates.