President authorises Polish contingent to military mission abroad

The BBN tweeted on Wednesday that "the EU operation on the Mediterranean Sea EUNAVFOR MED Sophia has ended after five years." BBN/Twitter

Polish President Andrzej Duda signed on Wednesday an agreement on the participation of a Polish Military Contingent in the new operation "Irini" aimed at counteracting the smuggling of arms to Libya, the National Security Bureau (BBN) said.

According to the BBN, the operation will consist of a contingent of up to 120 soldiers, military personnel and B-28B1R aircraft.

The BBN tweeted on Wednesday that "the EU operation on the Mediterranean Sea EUNAVFOR MED Sophia has ended after five years."

The main purpose of the EU military operation "Irini" (Peace in Greek) is to supervise and counteract the smuggling of arms to Libya via the Mediterranean. According to the agreement concluded by EU Member States, while patrolling the Mediterranean the contingent will also participate in the rescue of migrants who will be taken to Greece, from where they will be re-routed to other countries.

The EUNAVFOR MED operation Sophia was established as one of the EU's responses to the migration crisis. The main task of the mission, operating on an EU mandate, is to counteract people smuggling and human trafficking in the Southern Central Mediterranean. It also trains the Libyan coastguard and navy, and contributes to the implementation of the UN arms embargo on the high seas off the coast of Libya.