Former Italian Border Boss Warns Lebanon Chaos Could Trigger New Migrant Crisis

TOPSHOT - EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / A picture shows the scene of an explosion at the port in the Lebanese capital Beirut on August 4, 2020. - Two huge explosion rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut, wounding dozens of people, shaking buildings and sending huge plumes of smoke billowing into …
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Former Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti has warned that potential government collapse in Lebanon following the Beirut blast could trigger a domino effect and sweep chaos across the Mediterranean.

Minniti stated that the current crisis in Lebanon, in which the government resigned following the Beirut explosion that killed at least 163 and made 300,000 people homeless, could lead to the collapse of the country and trigger health, economic, and humanitarian emergencies.

The former minister went on to suggest that U.S. disengagement in the Mediterranean has led to states like Turkey and Russia jockeying for power and influence. “It’s the biggest shift in political balance in 100 years. Europe can no longer stand still,” Minniti said, according to Il Giornale.

“If we do nothing,” he added, “the first weapon with which we will be hit is a new wave of migration, in the midst of the [coronavirus] emergency.”

Tensions are also increasing in the Mediterranean between Turkey and several other Mediterranean nations, including Greece and Egypt.

This week Turkey allegedly deployed ten warships to accompany the research vessel Oruc Reis, which looks to conduct a seismic study in an area Greece claims as part of its exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Turkey had announced the seismic research late last month using the NAVTEX system. In response, Greece put its own armed forces on alert.

Turkey issued a new NAVTEX this week to counter a Greek NAVTEX that cancelled a prior Turkish message.

The European Commission has also commented on the tense situation, with the foreign affairs spokesman for the EU’s executive arm, Peter Stano, saying the case in the Eastern Mediterranean was “extremely worrying” and that the EU fully backed both Greece and Cyprus.

The tensions across the Mediterranean come as Italy continues to see a surge of migrants arriving on its shores. Many of them have been testing positive for the Chinese coronavirus.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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