Frontex’s director, Ilkka Laitinen, met with Greek Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis and reportedly said that Frontex enforcement operations in the eastern Aegean Sea will be further expanded in 2010.
Minister Chrysochoidis stated that 75% of the arrests for illegal entry from the EU’s sea borders in 2009 year took place in the Aegean.
Director Laitinen said that “[Frontex Operation] Poseidon continues to be our most important operation” and that Frontex’s largest border monitoring operation will take place in the eastern Aegean in 2010.
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EU Commission spokesperson Amadeu Altafaj Tardio responded to Greek media reports earlier in the week that Turkey had interfered with or warned a Frontex helicopter operating on a patrol from Greek territory during Frontex’s ongoing Operation Poseidon 2009.
The statement said that the Frontex helicopter had “never violated Turkish airspace” and that it “had never received threats from Turkish authorities.” The statement said the Turkish radar controller “had tried to establish contact with the [Frontex] helicopter pilot and had been unable to do so due to the use of different radar frequencies.”
The spokesperson “added that the EU is still continuing negotiations with Turkey over a joint framework in operational cooperation in border management and that it had informed Turkish officials about operation Poseidon 2009.”
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