The ceasefire in Syria will most likely hold and is crucial to efforts in reaching a negotiated solution, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.
Monday Stoltenberg held talks with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and promised to step up NATO’s surveillance and intelligence activities along the border between Turkey and Syria.
– Despite reports of breaches, the ceasefire in Syria by and large seems to hold, Stoltenberg said during a joint press conference with Davutoglu after the talks.
He reiterated his concern over Russia’s increasing presence and role in the region.
– We are still concerned about Russia’s buildup of forces in Syria and east of the Mediterranean, and we believe that they have helped to reinforce the refugee crisis, said Stoltenberg.
NATO chief also stressed that the defense alliance consider Turkey to be “a strong and valuable ally” and commended the country for having welcomed 2.5 million war refugees from Syria and Iraq.
NATO are now stepping up their presence in the Aegean sea, but the navy vessels are not there to stop and return the boat people on their way from Turkey to Greece, but to assist Turkey and the EU border agency Frontex in efforts to stop the human traffickers operating in that area, Stoltenberg stressed.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today