Turkey will host the leaders of Germany, France and Britain in Istanbul in February, President Recep Erdogan said on Thursday.
Erdogan, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson met in London this week, on the sidelines of a NATO summit, to discuss the conflict in Syria and the fate of Syrian refugees.
Merkel made clear that any voluntary return of refugees to northern Syria should be overseen by the UN.
Erdogan said in London that the four decided to meet at least once a year, and the second summit will be held in Turkey, state news agency Anadolu reported.
Many European allies criticised Turkey for its incursion in north-eastern Syria in October, facilitated by the U.S. troop pull-out.
Turkey maintains its offensive is targeted at the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Islamic State, to secure its border with Syria and create a safe zone to send back millions of Syrian refugees.
The Western-allied Kurdish militias played a major role in defeating Islamic State.
“If you look at the speeches during the NATO summit you will see that everyone says they are against terrorism.
“But unfortunately there is no fight against this,’’ said Erdogan, who didn’t address international media when the summit ended on Wednesday.
Turkey didn’t get any concessions from its NATO allies on branding the YPG as terrorists.
Ankara considers them to be linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) waging an insurgency within the country. (dpa/NAN)