Stoltenberg meets Tsipras to discuss Refugee Crisis missions

23 April 2016
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NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras met on Friday to discuss the ongoing mission in the Aegean to catch migrant traffickers, an announcement said.

Stoltenberg thanked Greece for its ongoing commitment to the Alliance, its investment in collective defence, and it significant efforts to cope with the biggest migrant and refugee crisis in Europe since World War Two.

Specifically, he said, “NATO is in the Aegean Sea because Greece, Germany and Turkey requested our assistance to help cut the lines of human trafficking.”

He stressed that, as part of international efforts, “NATO is helping counter criminal networks, secure our borders and save lives. NATO is also working with the EU closer than ever before.”

Stoltenberg thanked Greece for contributing three ships to NATO’s deployment in the Aegean, and for the excellent cooperation with Turkey and the EU’s border agency FRONTEX.

The NATO Secretary-General also discussed the alliance’s efforts to address the root causes of the refugee and migrant crisis, the announcement said.

Stoltenberg said: “We are assisting partner countries in the Middle East and North Africa to strengthen their own defence and fight terrorism and instability.” The Secretary-General stressed that this month NATO started training Iraqi officers and stands ready to support Libya.

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