Mark questions the Government on creating safe zone in north-east Syria

11th February 2019

Mark asks the Foreign Secretary about the UK response to President Erdoğan of Turkey’s offer to create a safe haven in north-east of Syria.

The Foreign Secretary will know that the self-governing regime and the Arab-Christian coalition in the north-east of Syria are under huge pressure from the Assad regime. What is the Government’s latest thinking on the safe haven plan of President Erdoğan of Turkey?

We are looking at that plan very closely, and we are talking to our allies in the United States about it. We understand the strategic reason why President Trump wants to withdraw American troops, but our concern is to make sure there no unintended consequences. That is why we think it encouraging that, although the original announcement suggested this withdrawal would happen very quickly, the United States has behaved with considerable pragmatism in practice.