BRUSSELS, 26th February, 2016 (WAM)–NATO allies have settled on a maritime plan to help tackle crime rings smuggling refugees into Europe.

It has also said they will return all rescued refugees to Turkey, a move which has been strongly criticised.

Following late night discussions in Brussels, NATO allies outlined a plan for their ships in the Aegean Sea and overcame territorial disputes between Greece and Turkey, announced NATO’s chief on Thursday.

“We will participate in international efforts to cut the lines of illegal trafficking and illegal migration in the Aegean Sea. Because this crisis affects us all. And we all have to find solution,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement.

More than one million asylum-seekers arrived last year and Germany anticipates a total of 3.6 million refugees by 2020.