European leaders will meet Erdogan early next year - Macron | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

25 September, Friday


European leaders will meet Erdogan early next year - Macron

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French, British and German leaders will meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan early next year to discuss Syria, Libya and other issues, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday at a news conference after the NATO summit in London, Eurasia Diary reports citing Ahval News. 

The four leaders met on Tuesday amid increased tensions over Turkey’s military operation in north Syria against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Turkey says is a terrorist group due to its links to armed groups that have fought for autonomy in Turkey’s southeast for more than three decades.

“I'm very happy that we had a very useful meeting yesterday with British Prime Minister, Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Erdoğan," Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency quoted Macron as saying. The meeting “started a very useful dialogue and clarified certain misunderstandings with Turkey,” he said.

But Macron said disagreements continued over classifying the YPG as a PKK-linked terrorist organisation. The YPG has formed the main bulk of U.S.-led coalition’s ground forces fighting against the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria, and France has come under fire from Turkey over its support for the group.

“We’re combatting the PKK and those groups that are fighting against Turkey directly. But we’re not equating these different political and military groups to each other. So, we disagree on this. And that has not been changed,” said Macron.

The French leader last month questioned whether other NATO members should commit themselves to help Turkey if Turkish forces clashed with Syrian government forces in Syria, calling the Turkish offensive an uncoordinated, aggressive action.

“When ... certain groups do have terrorist intentions on Turkish soil against the Turkish country, for us there's no ambiguity about the fact that we will fight against those groups,” he said in London.

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