NATO patrols in Aegean sea

29 February 2016
27 Views

The Hellenic navy will assist a NATO naval force tasked with patrolling the eastern Aegean in a bid to stem the flow of Mideast war refugees and irregular migrants being ferried onto Greek territory from the neighboring Turkish coast. Two gunboats, two missile and five patrol vessels will be allocated. Moreover, the Greek frigate “Salamis” will be part of the Alliance flotilla.

NATO leaders agreed early Thursday on an operational plan for a new reconnaissance mission aimed at cracking down on smuggling of migrants across the Aegean Sea.

“We will participate in international efforts to cut the lines of illegal trafficking and illegal migration in the Aegean Sea. Because this crisis affects all of us,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said after late-night negotiations among allies in Brussels.

Earlier this month, NATO defense ministers agreed to launch the mission in response to a joint request by Germany, Greece and Turkey, all most burdened by the rise of illegal trafficking across the Aegean. The flow of migrants and refugees from Turkey to Greece has strained relations between the regional rivals.

NATO’s maritime deal ensures that Turkish and Greek ships will remain in their own territorial waters while NATO vessels patrol across international boundaries and provide intelligence to both Turkish and Greek coast guards.

NATO ships will not be conducting policing operations but will instead refer intelligence to the respective coast guards, which in turn will escort boats of migrants.
“This will help them carry out their duties even more effectively to deal with the illegal trafficking networks,” Stoltenberg said.

NATO’s Standing Maritime Group 2, which arrived in the Aegean Sea less than 48 hours after the defense ministers’ Feb. 11 decision and includes about five ships, will lead the effort. As part of the initiative, NATO will coordinate with Frontex, the European Union’s border agency.

Collectively, the NATO ships, complete with powerful radars and helicopters, will be able to survey hundreds of miles of water. The decision comes as Europe confronts its worst refugee crisis since World War II.

If NATO ships encounter a boat in distress, allies will respond as is required by international laws of the sea.

In the case of NATO rescue operations, those who come from Turkey will be returned to Turkey, Stoltenberg said.

“This is a complex challenge. And it requires all of us to work together to find solutions,” he said.

You may be interested

23 christians killed in Egypt!
SLIDE
shares90 views
SLIDE
shares90 views

23 christians killed in Egypt!

makis - May 26, 2017

Gunmen opened fire on two buses and a truck carrying Coptic Christians in Minya, Egypt on Friday, killing at least…

Students slightly injured after school bus capsizes in Serres, northern Greece
GREECE
shares74 views
GREECE
shares74 views

Students slightly injured after school bus capsizes in Serres, northern Greece

makis - May 26, 2017

One child suffered a fracture when a school bus from the Vamvakofyta primary school was run off the road by…

Papademos -bleeding- carried into the ambulance! (video)
GREECE
shares108 views
GREECE
shares108 views

Papademos -bleeding- carried into the ambulance! (video)

makis - May 26, 2017

A shocking video from the moments after the bomb attack against the former Prime Minister of Greece Lucas Papademos in…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.