The statements of a possible Turkish military operation in North East Syria are a source of concern. Turkey is a key partner of the European Union and a critically important actor in this crisis and in the region.
We share the goal of ending violence, defeating terrorism and promoting stability in Syria and the wider region.
We expect the Turkish authorities therefore to refrain from any unilateral action likely to undermine the efforts of the Counter-Daesh Coalition or to risk further instability in Syria. As the fight against Daesh is entering its final stages, all parties must work towards the goal of ensuring its upcoming defeat, which remains an indispensable objective for any durable solution to the Syrian crisis.
In this context, the rapid implementation of the roadmap agreed between Turkey and the US on Manbij is key. A mutually acceptable outcome in northern Syria should address Turkey’s security concern without hampering the counter Daesh campaign.
The European Union reiterates that any sustainable solution to the Syrian conflict requires a genuine political transition in line with UNSCR 2254 and the 2012 Geneva Communique. As one of the guarantors of the Astana Process, Turkey has a particular responsibility.
We expect all parties to respect at all times their international obligations to protect civilians, and allow humanitarian access.