Turkey’s Syria offensive: Bulgarian PM to urge Brussels to stop criticism of Ankara

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov said on October 12 that he would urge European Union leaders to stop their “incessant invective” against Turkey.

Borissov announced this in a video on his Facebook page, against the background of the criticism by EU leaders of Turkey’s military offensive in northeastern Syria against Kurdish fighters. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to respond to EU criticism by allowing millions of refugees to cross his borders into Europe.

“I will insist that colleagues in Brussels stop this incessant invective, because Brussels is far away but the Turkish border is here, and there are nearly four million refugees there,” Borissov told journalists on October 12.

“Brussels is far away, and Turkey – close – no fence, no measures can stop the migrants if they start letting them go,” he said.

Borissov’s remarks on Saturday were in line with his message the day before, claiming that Bulgaria and Turkey maintained good-neighbourly relations and that he maintained cordial contact with Erdogan, against the reluctance of EU leaders.

He said that Turkey was currently strictly adhering to its agreement with the EU about refugees and the migration pressure on the Bulgarian border was zero. Bulgaria had no plans to build new refugee camps to deal with a possible flow of refugees from across the Turkish border, Borissov said.

“In this tense environment, we will rely on diplomacy and goodwill towards Turkey,” he said, urging his colleagues in Brussels to follow this path.

Borissov said that he saw no point in building or preparing for camps, when the solution lay in diplomacy, pressure, a ceasing of hostilities and bringing events in Syria under control.

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