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Turkey asks NATO for extra assistance on Syria

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan noted that it is necessary for protection the border with Syria and meeting migration challenges

BRUSSELS, March 9. /TASS/. Turkey has requested additional assistance from NATO to protect its border with Syria and address migration challenges, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday after a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

"At today’s talks we discussed mainly the situation in Syria. I stressed the importance of immediate additional assistance from NATO and the alliance’s member states. Turkey’s border with Syria is NATO’s southeastern border. The crisis in Syria is a threat to our region and entire Europe both in the sphere of security and in the humanitarian sphere. Not a single European country can afford staying indifferent to the tragedy in Syria," he said.

This statement was made ahead of Erdogan’s talks with the European Commission president that are expected to focus on Turkey’s role in an attempts to exert migration pressure on Europe.

Erdogan said Turkey has been Europe’s and NATO’s stronghold against the threat in Syria for nine years and the only NATO country to fight against Islamic State (a terrorist organization outlawed in Russia). Moreover, in his words, Turkey has received 3.7 million Syrian refugees.