: Number of migrants across Aegean Sea falling significantly – Stoltenberg
Politics18:16 Apr. 21, 2016

Number of migrants across Aegean Sea falling significantly – Stoltenberg

NATO Secretary General met with Turkish President Erdogan to discuss situation in region

The numbers of migrants and refugees from the Middle East crossing the Aegean Sea have significantly reduced. The joint cooperation of NATO and Turkey allows to control the illegal human trafficking. This is according to the NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg. He paid a visit to Ankara to meet with the Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on April 21.

"We have seen a significant reduction in the numbers. But, I think it is important not to end this activity too early. Because, we still see that smugglers are trying to get people over the Aegean Sea and also we have to be prepared that if we leave then we can see a return of the high numbers of people trying to cross Aegean Sea in an illegal and dangerous way", claimed Stoltenberg.

Watch also NATO plans to increase its presence in east in response to Russia

He greeted the recent deal between Turkey and the E.U. aimed at stopping the flow of migrants. Under the term of the agreement, Ankara agrees to patrol its coastlines to prevent the illegal trafficking. "This is not easy, but it is important for a sustainable solution", Stoltenberg said.

Stoltenberg and Erdogan also discussed the security situation in the region. NATO Secretary General condemned the recent terrorist attacks in Turkey. He adds the alliance will continue to conduct military operations against the radicals in Afghanistan, and Syria.

Stoltenberg says the situation there is unstable, but better than a few months before. "Despite partial withdrawal, Russia maintains a considerable military presence in support of Assad. The ceasefire is under strain, but it remains the best basis for a peaceful solution to a crisis".

Earlier Stoltenberg attended a session between NATO and the Russia Federation. It was their first formal meeting in two years. Secretary General said the talks didn't change the serious disagreements between the alliance and Moscow.

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