Minister: Croatia will see how it can help NATO mission in Aegean

Josip Buljevic

Croatia will look into the ways of how to assist the NATO-led naval mission in the Aegean Sea, agreed on Thursday so as to combat the smuggling of refugees, Croatian Deference Minister Josip Buljevic said in Brussels on Thursday.

“The NATO military commander has been isntructed to make plans for the deployment to the Aegean Sea, and these plans will be finished in about ten days. Croatia will see how it can help. It is important to emphasise that this is not only a naval or military operation, intelligence and police information will be used to a great extent, it will also close cooperate with Frontex and a number of countries and Croatia will most definitely find a way to help those efforts,” Buljevic said after a meeting of NATO defence ministers.

NATO defence ministers at their meeting on Thursday decided that the NATO fleet will be deployed to the Aegean Sea immediately in a bid to stem the flow of refugees crossing the sea into Europe from Turkey.

Announcing the deployment, which will see refugee boats met by warships rather than coastguards, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said action would be taken “without delay”.

(Hina) its