France to summon Turkish envoy over Erdogan’s ‘insults’

Erdogan repeated an expression Macron had used to describe NATO to hit back at the French leader over his criticism of Turkey’s intervention against Kurdish forces in Syria. (File/Reuters)
Updated 29 November 2019

France to summon Turkish envoy over Erdogan’s ‘insults’

  • “This is not a statement, these are insults,” an Elysee official said
  • The war of words set the stage for what is likely to be a fractious NATO summit outside London next week

PARIS: The French government will summon the Turkish envoy in Paris for talks after what it termed “insults” by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who accused Emmanuel Macron of suffering “brain death,” the president’s office said Friday.
Erdogan repeated an expression Macron had used to describe NATO to hit back at the French leader over his criticism of fellow NATO member Turkey’s intervention against Kurdish forces in Syria.
“This is not a statement, these are insults,” an Elysee official said, adding: “The ambassador will be summoned to the ministry to explain things.”
The official added that France had “no comment to make on these insults.”
Macron has been one of the most vocal critics of Ankara’s offensive against a Kurdish militia that took the fight to Daesh in Syria, with the backing of a US-led anti-Daesh coalition.
During a press conference alongside NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg in Paris on Thursday, Macron said Ankara had presented its NATO allies with a “fait accompli” by launching a military operation “that endangers the actions of the anti-IS coalition.”
The comments drew a stinging rebuke from Erdogan during a televised speech on Friday.
“Have your own brain death checked. These statements are suitable only to people like you who are in a state of brain death,” Erdogan said.
“You know how to show off but you cannot even properly pay for NATO. You are a novice,” he added.
The war of words set the stage for what is likely to be a fractious NATO summit outside London next week, which will be attended by both Macron and Erdogan as well as US President Donald Trump.


Taliban attack Afghan police base, 11 killed

Updated 57 min 5 sec ago

Taliban attack Afghan police base, 11 killed

KABUL, Afghanistan: Taliban militants attacked a police base in northern Afghanistan, killing 11, possibly with help from at least one of the policemen inside, local government officials said Tuesday.
The insurgents first overran a checkpoint near the base late Monday, and were apparently able to breach the compound with ease because a sympathetic policeman opened a door for them.
These details were provided by Mabobullah Ghafari, a provincial councilman in Baghlan province where the attack took place. A local police official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to brief reporters about the attack, also gave the same account.
Insider attacks have been steady throughout Afghanistan’s 18-year conflict, with US and NATO troops most often targeted. But when Afghan security forces are targeted, the casualty rate is often much higher.
Last July, two US service members were killed by an Afghan soldier in the southern Kandahar province. The shooter was wounded and arrested. In September, three US military personnel were wounded when a member of the Afghan Civil Order Police fired on a military convoy, also in Kandahar.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack on the outskirts of Puli Khumri, Baghlan’s provincial capital. But the Taliban have a strong presence in the province and frequently target Afghan security forces in and around the city.
Last September, the insurgents attacked Puli Khumri and blocked the city’s main highway to the capital Kabul for more than a week.
The Taliban currently control or hold sway over around half the country.
The US and the Taliban are currently attempting to negotiate a reduction in hostilities or a cease-fire. That would allow a peace agreement to be signed that could bring home an estimated 13,000 American troops, and open the way to a broader post-war deal for Afghans.