France’s Macron criticizes NATO reaction over Turkish offensive

France’s President Emmanuel Macron gestures at a press conference during a European Union Summit at European Union Headquarters in Brussels on October 18, 2019. (AFP)

France’s president on Friday bemoaned Turkey’s offensive into northern Syria as “madness” and decried the North Atlantic Organization’s (NATO) inability to react to the assault as a “serious mistake.”

“I consider what’s happened in the last few days as a serious mistake from the West and NATO in the region and it weakens our credibility to find partners on the ground who will be by our side thinking they are protected in the long-term and so that raises questions on how NATO functions,” Emmanuel Macron told reporters after a European Council summit in Brussels.

Macron said he had discovered the US decision to withdrawal from northern Syria through Twitter and that, coupled with Ankara’s unilateral offensive, it was making Europe a junior ally in the Middle East.

“I understood that we were in NATO, that the United States and Turkey were in NATO,” Macron told reporters at an EU summit.

“Like everyone else, I learned by tweet that the United States had decided to withdraw its troops.”

Macron added that he, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel would use a NATO summit in London in December to confront the Turkish president over the operation against Kurdish forces.

“It’s important to meet and coordinate between the three Europeans and Turkey,” he said. “We need to see where Turkey is going and how to bring it back to a reasonable position which makes it possible to elaborate its internal security with the respect of our agenda and the correct solidarity at the heart of NATO.”

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:00 - GMT 07:00
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