Europeans ask Erdogan for clarifications on refugee issue, relationship with NATO

The leaders of France, Germany, Britain and Turkey held a conference via video call to discuss the refugee crisis and the situation in Idlib, Syria after exchanging accusations and statements.

The French press agency stated that the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed on Tuesday, the migrant crisis and the situation in the Syrian city of Idlib with the leaders of France, Germany and Britain.

The four-party video conference in which the French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson participated after Turkey decided last month to reopen its borders to the refugees trying to reach Europe.

This step raised tensions with Brussels and the neighboring Greece when thousands of migrants gathered on the Turkish-Greek border.

Erdogan's decision to open the doors for refugees heading towards Europe came after more than 50 Turkish soldiers were killed by the Syrian regime's fire in Idlib governorate in February.

Macron's office said that there is a convergence of views on the situation in Idlib and the need to intensify the humanitarian assistance to civilians during the conference which lasted for nearly an hour.

On the issue of migrants, NATO relations and the European Union, the Elysee said: "Europeans have asked Erdogan for a number of clarifications in order to achieve clearer peaceful relations."

Because of the increasing spread of the Coronavirus, the conference was held on Tuesday via video, rather than the meeting in Istanbul as Erdogan announced earlier.


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