The European Union has drawn up plans for military attacks in Libya to try to curb the influx of migrants across the Mediterranean by targeting the trafficking networks.
It is to launch a bid on Monday to secure a UN mandate for armed action in Libya’s territorial waters.
Britain is drafting the UN Security Council resolution that would authorize the mission, said senior officials in Brussels.
It would come under Italian command, have the participation of around ten European Union countries, including Britain, France, Spain, and Italy, and could also drag in Nato although there are no plans for initial alliance involvement.
The Italian government, which is leading the drive for military action and which would command the mission which would be headquartered in Rome, said at the weekend that the Russians were “ready to cooperate”.
Libya’s ambassador to the UN, Ibrahim Dabbashi, told the Associated Press that he had not been consulted on the plans and opposed them.