BRUSSELS: The Council on Thursday appointed Rear Admiral Stefano Turchetto as EU Operation Commander for the European Union military operation in the Mediterranean (EUNAVFOR MED IRINI). He will take command from Rear Admiral Fabio Agostini on 1 October 2021.
Rear Admiral Turchetto has more than 35 years of experience in the Italian Navy and is currently First Naval Division Commander. During his current assignment he has been for four different times “Operazione Mare Sicuro” Tactical Commander, operating in the Central Mediterranean Sea.
Previously, he had been Force Commander of EUNAVFOR Operation SOPHIA from September 2018 to June 2019.
Background and next steps
EUNAVFOR MED IRINI was launched on 31 March 2020, shortly after the Berlin Conference on Libya in January 2020, as a concrete contribution on the part of the EU to the process set up by the international community to support the return to peace and stability in Libya. Its current mandate runs until 31 March 2023.
Operation IRINI’s core task is to contribute to the implementation of the UN arms embargo on Libya, established by the UN Security Council Resolution 1970 (2011), through the use of aerial, satellite and maritime assets. In particular the mission is mandated to carry out inspections of vessels on the high seas off the Libyan coast suspected to be carrying arms or related material to and from Libya in violation of the arms embargo on Libya. It does this in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2292 (2016) and subsequent UNSC resolutions. In addition, Operation IRINI monitors possible violations perpetrated via aerial and land routes, regardless of provenance, and shares the information collected with the United Nations.