(Reuters) - Turkey launched a military operation against Kurdish fighters in northeast Syria on Wednesday.
Here are some reactions to the operation:
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said any military operation must fully respect the U.N. Charter and international humanitarian law. Spokesman Farhan Haq said: “Civilians and civilian infrastructure should be protected. The secretary-general believes that there’s no military solution to the Syrian conflict.”
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European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker urged Turkey to show restraint and stop its military operation. “If the plan involves the creation of a so-called safe zone, don’t expect the EU to pay for any of it,” he said.
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said he hoped Turkey’s operations in Syria would be measured and proportionate.
Egypt’s foreign ministry condemned the offensive as “a blatant and unacceptable attack on the sovereignty of a brotherly Arab state”. It called for an emergency meeting of the League of Arab States.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Turkey’s operation would lead to further detribalization of the region and could strengthen Islamic State. He urged Turkey to end the operation.
France’s European affairs minister Amelie de Montchalin said France and Britain would call a U.N. Security Council meeting over the Turkish offensive. France, Germany and Britain are finalizing a joint statement condemning the advance.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said the operation risked destabilizing the region and harming civilians.
Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod tweeted: “Deeply concerned about Turkish military operation in Syria. In my view, this is a regrettable and wrong decision, which can have serious consequences for civilians and the fight against ISIL (Islamic State). Turkey must show restraint. Denmark is in close contact with allies on the matter.”
Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok summoned the Turkish ambassador and said: “The Netherlands condemns the Turkish offensive in northeast Syria. “We call on Turkey not to continue on the path they are going down.”
Editing by William Maclean, Janet Lawrence and Angus MacSwan
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