Luik: Turkey's actions in Syria could bring more refugees to Europe

Minister of Defence Jüri Luik.
Minister of Defence Jüri Luik. Source: Kairit Leibold/ERR

On Thursday Minister of Defence Jüri Luik said Turkey's operation in Syria could lead to a new wave of refugees coming to Europe.

The minister discussed Syria, Turkey's steps in the region, and issues related to NATO operations and force at a two-day meeting of NATO defense ministers that began Thursday.

"Turkey is an important ally for NATO and has security concerns in areas bordering Syria. At the same time, the Allies are clearly worried about Turkey's latest moves, as they will have an impact on the Middle East and possibly on Europe in the long run," said Luik, who said Daesh's (ISIS) resurgence could pose a terrorist threat and additional pressure from people seeking safety in Europe.

The defense ministers of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania signed a renewed agreement on the joint air surveillance network and control system BALTNET, under which the functions of the existing command center in Karmelava, Lithuania, will be performed by three Baltic national centers. The treaty needs ratification by the Riigikogu before it can be put into practice.

Minister of Defence Jüri Luik signing a BALTNET agreement with defense ministers from Latvia and Lithuania. Source: Ministry of Defence

The three Baltic ministers also met with NATO's Supreme Allied Commander General Tod Wolters to discuss defense issues in the Baltic region. 

On Friday, a working session on burden sharing and intimidation and protection is planned, where the NATO Secretary General will present his vision on how the issue will be addressed at the end of the year Heads of State meeting in London. 

The two-day meeting in Brussels will conclude with a discussion on Afghanistan.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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