Turkey wants the NATO fleet SNMG2 assigned to monitor the boats carrying refugees and migrants to Greece and the EU to withdraw from the eastern Aegean Sea. According to information of Greek press, Turkey sent for this purpose a relevant request to NATO headquarters in Brussels om May 13th 2016.
Daily Eleftheros Typos that obtained the report Greek diplomats sent to the political and military leadership in Athens, writes that “Turkey expressed its wish to have ending of the NATO action in the Aegean Sea and the Alliance is expected to take up the issue in near future even before the NATO Summit in Warsaw.”
The diplomats note that “the majority of the NATO members do not want the mission to end prematurely, especially as it is not clear whether there would be again an increase of the refugee flows” given the uncertainty about the future of the EU Turkey Deal. “NATO members would wish the mission in the Aegean to be “smaller and with less costly means.”
Furthermore, the diplomats note that “Detection of migrants and refugees boats by NATO ships were fewer compared to the total number of arrivals in the early days of the NATO mission. However, the deployment of additional ships and the enhancement of patrols somehow improved the preventive measures.”
The Greek diplomats stress that “the EU Turkey Deal and the closure of the borders along the Balkan Route significantly decreased the refugee flows.” (via OnAlert.gr)