NATO ministers meeting overshadowed by Turkish incursion into Syria

BRUSSELS (dpa)- NATO defence ministers are due Thursday to begin two days of talks preparing the alliance's December summit, but their agenda will likely be dominated by Turkey's recent incursion into Syria.
Two weeks ago, Turkey - a NATO ally - launched a military operation into north-eastern Syria to fight the Kurdish YPG militia, which Ankara considers to be a terrorist organization linked to the domestically outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party PKK.

The incursion drew sharp condemnation from many NATO allies, amid concerns that it could undermine regional stability and reverse gains made against Islamic State extremists.
On Thursday, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar is likely to update his NATO counterparts on developments, while German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer plans to outline a proposal for an internationally enforced security zone.
Turkey and the United States struck a ceasefire deal for the contested region last week. US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that Turkey was prepared to make the ceasefire permanent.
Russia and Turkey agreed on Tuesday to jointly patrol the area formerly held by Kurdish forces.
On Wednesday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the "significant reduction in violence" resulting from the Turkey-US deal, while noting that it was too early to judge the consequences of the agreement struck with Moscow.
During their Brussels talks, the ministers are also due to discuss NATO's adaptation to hybrid threats - including 5G telecommunications security - progress on boosting quick response capabilities, and developments in Afghanistan.

Thursday, October 24th 2019

New comment:

News | Politics | Features | Arts | Entertainment | Society | Sport

At a glance