German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer advocates the creation of a security zone for refugees in the Syrian province of Idlib, but considers the Bundeswehr’s involvement in such a possible operation unrealistic.
Last autumn Kramp-Karenbauer made a proposal to create a security zone in the north of Syria under the auspices of the UN, but at that time it was generally discussed the settlement of the situation in the region against the background of negotiations between Russia and Turkey. The minister’s initiative did not find support either in Germany or in the international arena. Now the Minister is talking about the need to create a security zone, first of all to help the civilian population in Idlib.
“We need to first see where this area could be created, if it’s stable. If so, it is first of all a matter for the OSCE, UN, humanitarian organizations. When there is a zone, it will need to be guarded, for example, to European partners, but including the Bundeswehr. But I think that this is an unrealistic option. At the moment it is more likely to make a protected security zone through the UN or OSCE”, – Kramp-Karrenbauer said in an interview with N-TV.
She also criticized the Turkish authorities for “giving them (refugees in Turkey) a false picture that the borders are open and they can enter Europe”.
“This is not the case. The external borders are closed, and Bulgaria, Greece and Frontex are now working on it. This is important. If we have learned something in 2015, it is that the EU should work on the external border”, – the minister said.
Therefore, according to her, Germany should support the European Commission to “stay that way,” that is, the borders were closed.
Turkey, after the aggravation of the situation in Syrian Idlib, said it would no longer be able to curb the flow of migrants and refugees, and opened its borders with the EU, after which thousands of migrants rushed to Greece. Hundreds of police officers are on the border and Greek army units have been tightened. The EU has already announced that it will help Greece to secure its borders.
Many in the EU believe that Turkey is deliberately letting refugees to the border with the European Union in order to exert pressure and gain greater support for its actions in Syria. An extraordinary meeting of the EU Council at the level of foreign ministers will be held in Zagreb on March 6 to discuss the current situation in Syria and the EU borders.