July 6, 2020

Johnson says the allies want to avoid "misunderstandings" with Turkey

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday that the allies have tried to "understand" Turkey's plans in northern Syria in order to avoid "misunderstandings" with that country, at the end of the NATO meeting in Watford (England).

During this summit, in which NATO celebrates its 70th anniversary, its leaders have addressed, together with the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the controversy generated by Turkey, which has warned that it will block the allied strategic plans for the defense of the Baltic region and Poland, if the Alliance does not recognize its enemies in Syria as terrorists.

"We have addressed the great complexity of the situation in northern Syria and clearly recognize the enormous pressures Turkey faces to accommodate refugees and the terrorist threat," Johnson said.

The British Prime Minister stressed the "very real threat" facing Turkey, while underlining the will of "all" the allies to understand Erdogan's plans, "how they see the future" as well as "the way to move forward "in order to" avoid misunderstandings "with Ankara.

The Turkish issue has been one of the thorny issues that have marked the debates of this meeting, following the condemnation of some members of the Alliance to the Turkish offensive against Kurdish enemies in northern Syria on October 9.

The tension was exacerbated with Turkey's purchase of the Russian S-400 missile system.

In general, Johnson, host of the event on the 70th anniversary of the Alliance, considered that despite these sensitive issues the different members of NATO have held a "productive and successful" meeting.

The organization is the "most successful alliance in history" and a guarantee of "peace and prosperity for one billion people worldwide in 29 countries, and soon 30" (with the accession of Macedonia), he remarked.

According to Johnson, "the fundamental reason for the success of the Alliance is the idea of ​​solidarity" as well as the defense of the freedom values ​​shared by its members.

Despite this positive approach to NATO, Johnson admitted that "you cannot be complacent" and assured that the United Kingdom will continue to devote 2 percent of its GDP to collective defense, a goal set for 2024.

Among other issues addressed at the meeting, Johnson included Russia and said leaders discussed the issue of "how to respond collectively" to the threat it poses but also discussed "how to involve it."

Asked about the performance at the summit of the president of the United States, Donald Trump, the head of the British Government stressed the importance of that country for the "stability" of the collective security of the Alliance.

Johnson also referred to China, whose strength was addressed in the talks by recognizing the allies that the Asian giant poses "challenges" while representing "opportunities."

. (tagsToTranslate) Johnson (t) allies (t) want (t) understood (t) Turkey

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