In the follow up to the Berlin Conference and Munich Security Conference on Libya held in January and Februaury 2020 respectively, the German cabinet agreed on Wednesday to send up to 300 troops to patrol the waters off the coast of Libya as part of the new EU mission to stop arms smuggling, the government spokesman said.

"The government today approved the mandate for the prospective German military deployment until April 30, 2021. This will, of course, require a green light from the Bundestag," Steffen Seibert told reporters at a briefing.

The government plans to send P3C-Orion surveillance planes to monitor the Libyan waters, according to the government directive, seen by the public broadcaster ARD. A navy ship will be dispatched to the area by August.

Operation Irini was launched on April 1 in place of Operation Sophia, which focused on efforts to curb human trafficking.

The new mission also aims to stem illicit oil smuggling from Libya.