Macron criticizes NATO’s reaction to Turkish offensive in northern Syria

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PARIS – French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday lamented Turkey’s offensive actions in northern Syria, calling them “madness” and criticizing NATO’s inability to react to aggression as a “serious mistake.”

French President also said he found out about the US decision to withdraw his forces from northern Syria via Twitter, which combined with Ankara’s unilateral offensive makes Europe a junior ally in the Middle East.

“Like everyone else, I tweeted that the United States decided to withdraw its troops,” said Macron quoted by Reuters.

“I consider that what has happened in recent days is a serious mistake on the part of the West and NATO in the region and it weakens our credibility to find allies on the ground who stand by us thinking that they will be protected in the long run, and so this raises questions about how NATO works,” Macron told reporters after the European Council summit in Brussels.

Macron added that he, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel would be meeting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the coming weeks, probably in London.

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“It is important to have a meeting and coordination between the three European nations and Turkey,” he said.

“We need to know where Turkey is going and how to bring it back to a reasonable position to build its internal security with respect for our agenda and with proper solidarity within NATO,” said the French president.

Macron also warned in a call late Monday that the withdrawal of troops and Turkey’s subsequent offensive against Kurds in the region increased the threat of a Daesh [SIS] resurgence, the presidential palace said.

The French leader also spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iraqi counterpart Barham Saleh, the presidency continued.

Paris and other European capitals are concerned that members of the Daesh held by the Kurdish authorities may escape and seize chaos in the region to regroup.

Macron’s office said the conversation between the French president and Erdogan “underscored the deep divergence of views on the expected consequences of the Turkish offensive in northeastern Syria.”

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