EU: Turkey’s security concerns with Syria ‘legitimate’

ANKARA

The EU is aware of Turkey’s “legitimate” security concerns in northern Syria, a spokesman said on Thursday.

“We are aware of the legitimate Turkey’s security concerns at the border with Syria,” Carlos Martin Ruiz De Gordejuela said at a news briefing.

Gordejuela underlined the importance that diplomatic talks continue between Turkey and the U.S. to find a solution for a safe zone in the region.

“For us, the important thing, the goal must be to avoid renewed armed hostilities in the northeast that would not only cause massive displacement and renew civilian suffering but also undermine current efforts of the global coalition against Daesh and ongoing stabilization efforts,” he added.

Turkish and U.S. military officials agreed on Aug. 7 to set up a safe zone in northern Syria and develop a peace corridor to facilitate the movement of displaced Syrians who want to return to their homeland.

Turkish leaders have said the U.S. is not doing enough to establish the zone, which could house some 2-3 million Syrians who fled the Syrian civil war since 2011.

Turkey currently hosts some 3.6 million Syrian refugees, more than any other country in the world. Ankara has so far spent $40 billion for the refugees, according to official figures.

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