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Germany: Berlin against Turkish plan to relocate Syrian refugees to 'safe zone'

0 21.10.2019 Инфо

W/S Government press conference, Berlin
C/U Federal Press Conference sign
C/U Cameraman *CUTAWAY*
SOT, Christofer Burger, Foreign Ministry spokesperson (German): "We disagree that Syrian civil war refugees that are now in Turkey should then be taken to north east Syria in this 'safe zone', possibly against their will. This position is also what we agreed on with the EU partners on they day where Turkey started its military offensive on October 9 in a statement that the high representative delivered in the name of the EU. We said (English): 'The EU maintains its position that refugees' and IDP's (internally displaced people) return to their places of origin must be safe, voluntary and dignified when conditions allow. Any attempt at demographic change would be unacceptable. The EU will not provide stabilisation or development assistance in areas where the rights of local population are ignored."
M/S Cameraman *CUTAWAY*
SOT, Christofer Burger, Foreign Ministry spokesperson (German): "All I can say is that we take note of such reports and, especially when they come from well established human rights groups, follow them very closely. As I said last week, of course we expect of all parties involved in Syria to respect international humanitarian law and that such breaches will be prosecuted."
W/S Government officials
SOT, Steffen Seibert, German government spokesperson (German): "What is up for debate is that we have a temporary cease fire that can only be a stepping stone, a first intermediate step to a peaceful solution of this conflict. Our job must go in the direction of contributing that this cease fire becomes something more permanent so that we can continue down the path of dialogue and then, in the following step, the return of the ousted refugees from northern Syria."
C/U Cameraman *CUTAWAY*
SOT, Steffen Seibert, German government spokesperson (German): "The facts are clear and they lead us to say that this military operation, military intervention if you wish, has to stop because it is leading to great suffering of the population, forcing people to flee from their ancestral homes and because it offers no outlook to solving an extremely complex situation peacefully. This is what matters to us, independently from terminology."
W/S Journalists *CUTAWAY*
SOT, Steffen Seibert, German government spokesperson (German): "We now have the letters of the British government, as do the other European partners, we acknowledge the letters of the British Prime Minister (Boris Johnson) and, as (European) Council President (Donald) Tusk said, now the matter will be discussed by the European member states, the EU 27. We currently are in this process, meanwhile there are further domestic developments in Great Britain which we will be looking at closely. Overall a thorough European consultation precedes an answer to the letters of the British government and of the PM."
C/U Cameraman *CUTAWAY*
SOT, Steffen Seibert, German government spokesperson (German): "The (German) federal government approves the negotiated deal. It achieves, especially in the northern Irish question, the aims of the European Union to maintain the integrity of the domestic market and at the same time avoid border checks at the border. And multiple other goal as well, therefore we welcome the deal and stand for it."
M/S Journalists *CUTAWAY*
C/U Cameras *CUTAWAY*
SOT, Steffen Seibert, German government spokesperson (German): "We always said the Catalonia conflict, the problem between Catalonia and the (Spanish) central state, has to be resolved in the framework given by the Spanish constitution and Spanish law. There are verdicts by the highest Spanish court, based on the Spanish right and constitutional order. I will not comment further on internal political developments in our partner country Spain."
C/U Cameras
W/S Press conference
SCRIPT
A German Foreign Ministry spokesperson made clear that Berlin objects to Ankara's plans to relocate
Syrian refugees currently in Turkey to the so-called 'safe zone' in northern Syria, which their current military offensive is intended to create.
"We disagree that Syrian civil war refugees that are now in Turkey should then be taken to north east Syria in this 'safe zone', possibly against their will," stated spokesman Christofer Burger on Monday, adding that Germany expects of "all parties involved in Syria to respect international humanitarian law" as "breaches will be prosecuted."
"The facts are clear and they lead us to say that this military operation, military intervention if you wish, has to stop because it is leading to great suffering of the population, forcing people to flee from their ancestral homes and because it offers no outlook to solving an extremely complex situation peacefully," said German government spokesperson Steffen Seibert.
During the conference Seibert also commented on the latest Brexit developments, saying that Germany supports the newly negotiated deal as "it achieves, especially in the northern Irish question, the aims of the European Union to maintain the integrity of the domestic market and at the same time avoid border checks at the border."
Regarding the letters from the British government Seibert said the European Union received them and that they acknowledged the ones from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson but that an answer to them by the EU will be preceded by "a thorough European consultation."
Turkey announced a 120-hour ceasefire on October 17 to allow Kurdish forces to leave the area of northern Syria that they intend to make into a 'safe zone,' after a round of talks between US Vice President Mike Pence and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The UK Parliament ended up passing a backbench amendment put forth by Oliver Letwin to withhold the approval of the Brexit deal until the legislation required to enact it is passed.