German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, on Friday in Berlin, called for the resumption of state-organised sea rescue operations for refugees in the Mediterranean.
Merkel made the call at the formal good-bye event for Germany’s former defence minister and European Commission president-elect Ursula von der Leyen.
“Surely it would be good if we had a mission Sophia again today and state ships that would rescue,’’ She said.
Merkel also stressed that sea rescue was just as necessary as the fight against traffickers, who illegally took migrants to Europe.
Tens of thousands of migrants from the Mediterranean have been rescued since 2015 as part of the European sea rescue mission Sophia.
Following resistance from Italy, the naval operation was stopped a few months ago, although Germany had advocated a continuation of the sea rescue operation.
President of the European Commission, von der Leyen had also stated that she was committed to hunt down traffickers and smugglers, who endanger refugees in order to make huge profits.