Statement by the Secretary General after Article 4 consultations

  • 28 Feb. 2020 -
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  • Press Release (2020) 029
  • Issued on 28 Feb. 2020
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  • Last updated: 28 Feb. 2020 12:33

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.

Allies offer their deepest condolences for the death of Turkish soldiers in last night’s bombing near Idlib.

Allies condemn the continued indiscriminate air strikes by the Syrian regime and its backer Russia in Idlib province.

We 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 to avoid further worsening of the horrendous humanitarian situation in the region, and to allow urgent humanitarian access for those trapped in Idlib.  We urge an immediate return to the 2018 ceasefire.

Today’s meeting is a sign of solidarity with Turkey.

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, which 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 very closely.