October 23, 2019 / 9:50 AM / 23 days ago

Germany discussed idea of northern Syria security zone with NATO's Stoltenberg

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg holds a news conference ahead of a two-day NATO defence ministers meeting at the alliance's headquarters in Brussels, Belgium October 23, 2019. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday he had spoken to German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer about her idea to create a security zone in northern Syria, saying he welcomed any proposals on a way towards peace.

Stoltenberg, asked about French President Emmanuel Macron’s criticism of NATO’s reaction to Turkey’s Syria offensive, said differences at the alliance on the issue were “a matter of public record”.

He also said it was up to NATO allies to decide individually if they wished to reconsider the deployment of Patriot missiles in Turkey, adding that defense ministers will discuss the issue on Thursday at a meeting at the NATO headquarters.

Reporting by Robin Emmott, editing by Marine Strauss

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