Erdoğan discusses Syria in phone call with Merkel
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke on the phone late on April 16 to discuss recent developments in Syria, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
The two leaders focused on ensuring Syria’s territorial integrity and the political process in the war-torn country, the agency reported, citing presidential sources.
Erdoğan and Merkel also shared thoughts on the April 14 airstrikes by the United States, France and the U.K. on suspected chemical targets in Syria.
The U.S., Britain and France carried out a wave of strikes against the Bashar al-Assad regime on April 14, a week after the suspected deadly gas attack on the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Douma.
Ankara said the attacks, with weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons, that indiscriminately target civilians, “constitute crimes against humanity” and they should not go unpunished.
Meanwhile, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on April 14 that the alliance “considers the use of chemical weapons unacceptable.”
Stoltenberg said the strike “will reduce the regime’s ability to further attack the people of Syria with chemical weapons.”
He added that “those responsible must be held accountable.”
Russia and Iran, both allies of the Assad regime, however, strongly condemned joint strikes carried out on Syria.
Strikes on Syria will exacerbate humanitarian catastrophe in the country, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on April 14 in his first public speech following the military actions.