Duvar English - Reuters
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told fellow conservative lawmakers that she is in favour of setting up safety zones in northern Syria where Turkey is in a deepening standoff with Russia, two participants at the meeting told Reuters on March 3.US senator praises Turkey's efforts in Idlib
Merkel also criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin for refusing to take part in a four-way meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and French President Emmanuel Macron to de-escalate the Syrian crisis, the parliamentary sources added.
The RIA news agency cited the Kremlin as saying earlier on March 3 that Putin discussed the situation in Syria's Idlib region with Merkel in a telephone call.
The call came as fighting intensified in Syria's Idlib region where Turkey and allied rebels are battling Russia-backed Syrian government forces. Nearly a million people have been displaced there in recent months.
Similarly, German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer told German news agency DPA that the European states should take stronger responsibility to de-escalate tensions and pave the way for a political solution to the conflict in Syria.Russia accuses Turkey of violating international law in Idlib ahead of Putin-Erdoğan meeting
“It is good that Chancellor Merkel remains in contact with Macron and Erdoğan on whether a protected zone would be helpful to ensure the urgently needed humanitarian assistance for the people in the region,” she said.
Kramp-Karrenbauer sharply criticized Russia’s support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and voiced skepticism about Moscow’s commitment to the 2018 Sochi deal with Ankara to de-escalate tensions in Idlib.
She argued that unlike Russia “the EU and NATO are reliable partners of Turkey.”
Germany’s defense minister called on the U.S. and European partners to further increase their pressure on Russia after escalating tensions in northwestern Syria.
“I believe that the EU and the U.S. must now simultaneously put more pressure on Putin and Assad to pave the way for a political settlement to the Syria war,” she said.