October 22, 2019 / 12:35 PM / a month ago

German minister: Some allies irritated by proposal for Syria security zone

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian pose for a family photo with members of German and French governments during a joint Franco-German cabinet meeting in Toulouse, France, October 16, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

BERLIN (Reuters) - Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Tuesday Germany had received questions and some irritation from allies after Germany’s defence minister suggested creating a security zone in northern Syria.

Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer - also the leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) said the security zone should involve Turkey and Russia. She wants it to protect displaced civilians and ensure the fight continues against Islamic State militia, the first time Berlin has proposed a military mission in the Middle East.

“Since yesterday, after the CDU leaders’ proposal, we have got some questions from our allies and there is some - this is indisputable - irritation amongst our partners,” Maas said, adding there was currently no discussion among partners about creating such an international security zone.

Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Madeline Chambers

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