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NATO "intensively works" with Turkey to push forward refugee mission in Aegean — source

March 02, 18:29 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
A NATO naval mission to help stop migration in the Aegean sea was put on hold after Turkey denied entry to its waters to the bloc’s warship
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© AP Photo/Manu Brabo

BRUSSELS, March 2. /TASS/. NATO is working with Turkey towards finalizing the details of the deployment of its ships in the Aegean Sea to stop the flow of migrants into Europe, a NATO official told TASS on Wednesday.

"Our ships are in place, they are collecting information, and we're working intensively to finalize the operational details with Turkey, Greece and Frontex," the official said. "Everyone is aware of the urgency of the task, and we're on track."

A NATO naval mission to help stop migration in the Aegean sea was put on hold after Turkey denied entry to its waters to the bloc’s warship, the French news agency AFP said on Wednesday.

According to the AFP, despite NATO requests, "the Turks refused" this weekend to allow the vessels to enter into Turkish waters.

The large-scale maritime mission, seeking to tackle human trafficking and illegal migration in the Aegean Sea, was launched earlier this month and aims to help the EU cope with the refugee crisis.

The NATO maritime group consists of ships from different bloc members, including Turkey, which are the German Navy frigate Bonn, the Canadian Fredericton, the Greek Salamis and the Turkish frigate Barbaros.

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