06:02 GMT +3 hours30 May 2016
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Migrant families - helped by rescuers - disembark on the Greek island of Lesbos after crossing with other migrants and refugees the Aegean Sea from Turkey, on November 25, 2015.

Germany to Lead Naval Mission in Aegean Sea to Tackle People Smugglers

© AFP 2016/ Bulent Kilic
Europe
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Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1473)
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Germany will lead a naval mission in the Aegean Sea while NATO planes conduct reconnaissance in the region to tackle undocumented migration and human traffickers, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic said Monday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the Hurriyet newspaper, NATO defense ministers agreed to make efforts against people smuggling in the Mediterranean Sea following a request from Turkey, Germany and Greece.

"Now, in line with the agreement, an activity by naval elements will be conducted under the command of Germany in the Aegean. Likewise, NATO planes will conduct a reconnaissance operation, monitoring and surveilling border areas near Syria," Bilgic was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

Last year, the European Union launched an operation to neutralize the routes of people smuggling in the Mediterranean after thousands of refugees died trying to make the perilous journey across the sea. The first stage of the operation involved surveillance and reconnaissance, while the second stage entailed boarding, search, seizure and diversion of ships suspected of being used for human trafficking.

According to the UN refugee agency, the number of arrivals on the European shores by sea in the first weeks of 2016 was bigger than in the first four months of 2015.

Topic:
Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1473)
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European Union, NATO, Germany, Aegean Sea
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  • michael
    upping the nato ante. Subtle - maybe not.
  • Aon Duine
    Germany? Really?!! The Germans are just gonna pick up immigrants and drop them in Europe and do absolutely nothing to stop them from actually leaving Turkey. The German navy, your private Muslim taxi service.
  • dvdgrg09
    People smuggling and human trafficking are two different things. One is voluntary, the other is kidnapping.
  • tesseney61
    A question for Germany, who is the king ping of 2013-2016? Just a curious earth being. I know you all already know the answer but you are too scared to say the answer. Pure humans hypocracy in 2016, shame to and shame to civilized humans.
  • dewatergeus
    Do not believe a word the german lead naval operations they are claiming to carry out.
    It is a pure heinous NATO-move against Syria and thus ... Russia.
    NATO Propaganda extra, in disguise.
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