Turkey’s Deals on Northern Syria: Stoltenberg Says ‘Encouraging’, Trump Says ‘Big Success’

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  • October 23, 2019
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NATO Secretary-General has said a political solution in Syria has become possible, Trump has hailed the "big success on the border".

NATO has seen "encouraging" progress over the last few days in Syria, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said.

"I think what we have seen over the last few days is encouraging because it shows that it is possible to move towards a political settlement, a political solution," Stoltenberg told reporters ahead of a two-day defense ministers meeting in Brussels.

Stoltenberg recalled that he met with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul after Turkey launched a military operation into northern Syria.

He reiterated that Ankara has "legitimate security concerns on its southern border with Syria since no other NATO ally has suffered more terrorist attacks than Turkey."

Stoltenberg said he welcomed the joint statement by Turkey and the US. "I welcome the fact that after the statement we have seen progress. We have seen significant reduction in violence [in northern Syria]."

Upon a question on yesterday's deal between Turkey and Russia on Syria, Stoltenberg said: "I think it is a bit too early to judge the consequences and outcome of the agreement."

Ankara agreed with Washington on October 17 to pause its operation for 120-hours to allow the withdrawal of YPG from the planned safe zone.

Erdogan and Vladimir Putin, his counterpart from Russia, reached a deal under which YPG will pull back 30 kilometers south of Turkey's border with Syria within 150 hours starting from 12 p.m. today. Security forces from Turkey and Russia will start to conduct joint patrols in the region.

Trump: Safe zone is created

US President Donald Trump said on Twitter that a "safe zone" have been created and the combat missions have ended in northern Syria.

Source: English Bianet