British PM Johnson: Syria issue and PKK threat discussed at quartet London meeting
"We discussed the great complexity of the situation in northern Syria. We clearly recognized the huge pressure Turkey faces from 4 million refugees it is accommodating and the terror threat from the PKK," British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in his remarks as speaking at a press conference following the NATO summit in London.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday the terrorist threat from the PKK to Turkey was recognized during a quartet meeting with Turkish, French and German leaders.
Speaking at a press conference following the NATO summit in London, Johnson said he met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a "good" meeting on the sidelines of the summit on Tuesday.
"We discussed the great complexity of the situation in northern Syria," Johnson said.
Johnson said they "clearly recognized the huge pressure Turkey faces" from 4 million refugees it is accommodating and "the terrorist threat from the PKK."
"That must be acknowledged a real threat that Turkey faces," the premier urged.
Johnson said Turkey's plans in northern Syria must be understood and "we must avoid any misunderstandings between allies within NATO."
"We have agreed to continue to those talks," he added.
Turkey on Oct. 9 launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate YPG/PKK terrorists from northern Syria in order to secure Turkey's borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria's territorial integrity.
Under two separate deals with the U.S. and Russia, Turkey paused the operation to allow the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from the planned Syria safe zone.
Ankara wants YPG/PKK terrorists to withdraw from the region so a safe zone can be created to pave the way for the safe return of some 2 million refugees.
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 the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.