Macron and Erdogan to discuss Turkey’s Syria offensive after ‘brain dead’ insult

Emmanuel Macron and Tayyip Erdogan have clashed over Macron's NATO comments
Emmanuel Macron and Tayyip Erdogan have clashed over Macron's NATO comments Copyright Reuters
By Luke Hurst with Reuters
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Macron and Erdogan will hold talks over the Turkish military offensive in #Syria, after the two leaders exchanged "brain dead" remarks


Discussions over the Turkish military offensive in Syria are to take place at 10 Downing Street, with France’s Emmanuel Macron and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan set to meet on the sidelines of the NATO meeting in London.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson could be hosting a testy affair, with the Turkish president telling his French counterpart on Friday “you should check whether you are brain dead”, in response to Macron’s recent comments about NATO.

The French president said last month that NATO was experiencing “brain death”, due to American unpredictability, and the Turkish offensive against Kurdish forces in Syria, which has strained relations within the military alliance.

More: Why is Turkey fighting Syria's Kurds and how is the US involved?

Macron’s comments sparked a war of words between the two leaders, with Erdogan accusing him of having a “sick and shallow” understanding of the situation.

The French foreign ministry summoned Turkey’s ambassador to Paris in response, with a French presidential adviser calling the words “insults”.

More: NATO chief speaks as 70th anniversary summit begins amid tensions

Macron’s adviser added that Turkey’s refusal to back a NATO defence plan for the Baltic republics and Poland was unacceptable.

Erdogan isn’t the only world leader attending the meeting in London to have criticised Macron’s “brain death” comments. US president Donald Trump said on Tuesday it was a "very insulting statement to make”, as he berated his EU counterparts for treating the US “very, very unfairly on trade”.

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