Erdogan Invites EU Leaders to Istanbul or Syrian Border Towns to Discuss Future of NATO

© REUTERS / Djordje KojadinovicTurkish President Tayyip Erdogan attends a joint press conference with Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic after their meeting in Belgrade, Serbia, October 7, 2019
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attends a joint press conference with Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic after their meeting in Belgrade, Serbia, October 7, 2019 - Sputnik International
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ANKARA (Sputnik) - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday invited the leaders of France, Germany and the United Kingdom to meet on the Turkish side of the Syrian border or in Istanbul to discuss outlooks for NATO.
"I received a call from Boris Johnson two days ago who suggested that the four of us… meet in London. I told him that Istanbul or the border cities of Sanliurfa and Gaziantep were better options", Erdogan was quoted by the Haberturk television channel as saying to a press pool aboard his plane.

The Turkish president said that the next opportunity to meet would be on the sidelines of the NATO summit in London from 3-4 December. The gathering will mark 70 years since the North Atlantic Organisation was created.

French President Emmanuel Macron last week called lack of NATO unity in criticising Turkey's Syria offensive a serious mistake. He said he together with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel would meet with Erdogan in London in the coming weeks.

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The Operation Peace Spring, which was launched on 9 October and completed on Tuesday, 22 October, aimed to create a "safe zone" in Northern Syria driving the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) away from the area. According to Ankara, the US-backed militants are affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), banned in Turkey as a terror group.

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