NATO chief Stoltenberg welcomes Turkey-US ceasefire deal

BRUSSELS (dpa)- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomes a ceasefire struck by the United States and Turkey for north-eastern Syria, during a visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to brief the defence alliance on the deal.
"I welcome that two NATO allies, the United States and Turkey, have agreed on a way forward," Stoltenberg says, adding: "We all know and understand that the situation in north-eastern Syria is fragile, difficult, but I believe that this statement can help to de-escalate the situation."

Pompeo plays down reports of clashes since the ceasefire began around 24 hours ago.
"There was some activity today but we also saw some very positive activity," he says, noting that coordination measures were needed so Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) fighters could withdraw from the Turkish-controlled area.
"We are hopeful in the hours ahead that both the Turks, who were part of the agreement alongside of us, as well as the the YPG fighters in the region will take seriously the commitments that they made," Pompeo adds.

Friday, October 18th 2019

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