Rescued migrants stand as they disembark off the Italian Guardia di Finanza vessel Denaro at the Sicilian harbour of Catania on April 23, 2015. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI
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European Union leaders Thursday started committing new resources to save lives in the Mediterranean at an emergency summit convened after hundreds of migrants drowned in the space of a few days, and discussed action to destroy vessels that could be used for trafficking.Prime Minister David Cameron said Britain would contribute the navy's flagship, HMS Bulwark, along with three helicopters and two border patrol ships to the EU effort.Martin Schulz, president of the European parliament, said the EU had not moved in decades on its migrant policies.That has been a halfhearted skirmish, lamented Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the EU parliament's liberal ALDE group.He complained the EU border operation Frontex had only two helicopters and seven ships in the Mediterranean. The draft statement also proposes cutting the time needed to process would-be migrants, which can now take up to a year before a person is deemed legitimate to stay, to as little as two months.
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