NATO Should Realize Erdogan 'Problem, Not Solution' - Assad's Aide
20:35 24.02.2016(updated 20:36 24.02.2016)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's actions pose problems for resolving the Syrian conflict rather than helping to find a solution, Bouthaina Shaaban, political and media adviser to the Syrian president, said Wednesday.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – In recent days, officials from NATO member states have increasingly voiced concerns about the possible consequences of a continued escalation of hostilities between Turkey and Russia. Turkey is a NATO member.
'I hope that NATO and [the] West realizes that [the] Erdogan…government is a problem, not part of the solution,' the Syrian presidential aide said at an experts meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club in Moscow.
On Friday, Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said that NATO was against any military confrontation with Russia despite negative developments in the Ankara-Moscow conflict. Later, French President Francois Hollande stated that a conflict between Turkey and Russia must be prevented.
'This is the first time I hear Western countries realize Erdogan is a problem,' Shaaban said.
Turkey is the key country through which terrorists travel to Syria, Shaaban stressed, adding that Turkey was now using refugees striving to get into the European Union to blackmail Europe.
Relations between Russia and Turkey have been strained since November 2015 when the Turkish Air Force downed a Russian Su-24 bomber over Syria. Russian President Vladimir Putin called the downing a 'stab in the back,' and imposed a set of economic measures against Turkey in retaliation.
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