Ambassadors of all 29 NATO Allies met in the North Atlantic Council on Friday, following a request by Turkey to hold consultations under Article 4 of the Washington Treaty on the situation in Syria.
Under Article 4 of the Treaty, any Ally can request consultations whenever, in the opinion of any of them, their territorial integrity, political independence or security is threatened. Allies offered their deepest condolences for the death of Turkish soldiers near Idlib.
They also condemned the indiscriminate air strikes by the Syrian regime and its backer Russia in Idlib province, and called on them to stop their offensive, to respect international law and to back UN efforts for a peaceful solution.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stressed that NATO stands in strong solidarity with Turkey and will continue to support Turkey with a range of measures, including augmenting its air defences.
“The North Atlantic Council has just met, following a request by Turkey to hold consultations under article 4 of NATO’s founding Washington Treaty on the situation in Syria. Under article 4 of the Treaty, any Ally can request consultations whenever, in the opinion of any of them, their territorial integrity, political independence or security is threatened. I spoke to the Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu last night about the situation in Syria. And he requested these consultations. Today Turkey briefed on the serious security situation in Syria.
Allies offer their deepest condolences for the death of Turkish soldiers in last night’s bombing in Idlib. And expressed their full solidarity with Turkey. Allies condemn the continued indiscriminate air strikes by the Syrian regime and Russia in Idlib province.
I call on them to stop their offensive. To respect international law. And to back UN efforts for a peaceful solution. This dangerous situation must be deescalated and we urge an immediate return to the 2018 ceasefire. To avoid further worsening of the horrendous humanitarian situation in the region. And to allow urgent humanitarian access for those trapped in Idlib.
Today’s meeting is a clear sign of solidarity with Turkey. Turkey is a valued NATO Ally and Turkey is the NATO Ally most affected by the terrible conflict in Syria, which has suffered the most terrorist attacks, and which hosts millions of refugees. NATO continues to support Turkey with a range of measures. Including by augmenting its air defences. This helps Turkey against the threat of missile attacks from Syria. I thank Turkey for briefing Allies regularly on the situation in Syria. Allies will continue to follow developments on the South-eastern border of NATO and to consult very closely.”
Read the Secretary General’s press interview here.