Boris Johnson calls for unity between Nato leaders amid escalating tensions over Syria

3 December 2019, 10:59

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left), Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left), Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron. Picture: PA

Boris Johnson will call for unity between Nato leaders amid escalating tensions within the Western alliance over the conflict in Syria.

The Prime Minister will host a gathering of leaders in Britain marking the alliance's 70th anniversary.

The meeting will take place amid a bitter row between French President Emmanuel Macron and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over Turkey's recent incursion into northern Syria.

Mr Macron infuriated Ankara when he suggested Nato was suffering from "brain death" over Turkey's incursion against the Kurds in northern Syria without warning other Nato members - a move that alarmed other allies.

The Turkish president hit back accusing Mr Macron of "a sick and shallow understanding" of terrorism, suggesting he was the one who was "brain dead".

President Donald Trump also waded into the row on Tuesday morning, accusing President Macron of being "very disrespectful."

Speaking during a breakfast meeting with Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg at the US ambassador's residence, Mr Trump said: "I think that is very insulting to a lot of different forces.

"It is a very, very nasty statement. I think they have a very high unemployment rate in France. France is not doing well economically at all.

"It is a very tough statement to make when you have such difficulty in France, when you look at what is going on with the yellow vests.

"They have had a very rough year. You just can't go around making statements like that about Nato. It is very disrespectful."

Mr Johnson is expected to try to play peacemaker when he hosts the leaders, together with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, for talks in Downing Street ahead of the main gathering.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "The PM's position is that Nato is the most enduring and successful alliance in military history and that it continues to adapt to the evolving threats that we face.

"It is the cornerstone of Euro-Atlantic security and it helps to keep a billion people safe.

"The PM will emphasise that all members must be united behind shared priorities so Nato can adapt to the challenges ahead."

The formal Nato events will begin with a reception at Buckingham Palace hosted by the Queen on Tuesday evening.

The main talks will then take place on Wednesday at The Grove, a country house hotel near Watford.

The meeting is expected to consider new threats, including in the areas of cyber and space, after the alliance last month declared space one of its operational domains alongside air, land, sea and cyber.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Scene outside the mortuary from above

Rising violence causes mortuary to overflow in Ecuadorian city

Mohamed Bazoum

Niger’s highest court lifts immunity of deposed president Mohamed Bazoum

Aimee Betro is accused of an attempted murder-for-hire in Birmingham

Mother of 'hit woman in hijab' issues stark warning to police as international manhunt continues

Cyril Ramaphosa raises his hand

Ramaphosa set for re-election after second-biggest party pledges backing

Singapore's goalkeeper makes a save

Chinese football fans pour money into food stall run by Singapore’s goalkeeper

Five Scotland fans were injured after their car was involved in a head-on collision in Germany

Five Scotland fans injured in horror crash after 'forgetting Germany drives on right'

Vladimir Putin

Putin pledges ceasefire in Ukraine if Kyiv withdraws troops and drops Nato bid

Putin has set out his demands for a ceasefire with Ukraine

Vladimir Putin promises Ukraine ceasefire on two conditions as he issues fresh warning to the West

More than a dozen employees were fired following claims about 'simulated' activity, according to reports.

‘Mouse jiggling’ employees sacked from major US bank after using tech to make it seem like they were working

Friends Matthew Steward and Cory Dove died in Turkey

Two British friends killed in quad bike horror crash in Turkey after smashing into 'hotel bus' on family holiday

Exclusive
You can run for president for United states but you can’t be a member of the House of Lords

Shadow Health Secretary says size of House of Lords ‘out of control’ and introducing an ‘80 year limit is the right balance’

Muslim pilgrims under umbrellas against the heat

Muslims start the Hajj against the backdrop of Israel-Hamas war

Simon Brown and William Rowe mugshot

Killer dad-of-two jailed for 13 years after beating 'bragging' serial paedophile to death

Guy Mukendi, 39, was sentenced to four years and three months in prison.

Man who removed condom without consent during sex jailed four years in rare ‘stealthing’ conviction

Exclusive
England fans have been warned not to sing 'Ten German bombers' at the Euros. Picture shows fans during a game against Germany in 2021

‘We will intervene’: German police warn England fans coming to the Euros don’t sing Ten German Bombers

Rishi Sunak has said he is still fighting for every vote, despite a poll showing his party is behind Reform UK

Rishi Sunak defiant despite Reform UK overtaking Tories in poll as he insists he's 'fighting for every vote'