Merkel cautiously optimistic about Turkey-US deal


German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed hope on Friday that Turkey’s agreement with the U.S. to pause anti-terror operation in northern Syria would be successful.

Speaking to reporters in Brussels at the end of the EU leaders summit, Merkel said the leaders briefly discussed yesterday Turkey’s military action and the latest developments.

“We now have to see whether the ceasefire brought about by the help of the U.S. administration yesterday will contribute to a settlement of the conflict. Of course, we would like to see that,” she said.

Merkel repeated the opposition of EU member states to Turkey’s military operation against the YPG/PKK terrorist group in northern Syria, expressing concerns over a potential humanitarian crisis and instability in the region.

Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring on Oct. 9 to eliminate YPG/PKK terrorists from northeastern Syria, to create the conditions for the safe return of Syrian refugees to the region and to ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.

After strong opposition by the U.S. administration to the operation, Ankara and Washington reached a deal on Thursday to pause the operation for 120 hours to allow the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from the planned safe zone.

Ankara wants to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates River of the terrorist PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the YPG/PKK.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has been responsible for deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
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