EU countries agree to restrict arms sales to Turkey - The Post

EU countries agree to restrict arms sales to Turkey

Turkish ambassador to United Nations condemns measures as a “joke”

Roundtable with all EU foreign ministers yesterday at the meeting (photo: European Union)
October 15th, 2019 12:36 pm| by Thess Mostoles

Denmark has been vocal about the need for EU countries to adopt common restrictions.

After a meeting of the EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg on Monday, restrictions on the sales of weapons to Turkey for military operations in Syria were announced.

Condemning Turkey’s invasion
The EU countries have also agreed to condemn Turkey’s military offensive in northeastern Syria, which has caused around 100,000 people to flee the area and put at risk the fight against IS fighters in Syria.

“In effect, this will mean that EU arms exports to Turkey, which can be used for military operations in Syria, will be shut down going forwards,” said the foreign minister, Jeppe Kofod.

Many EU politicians have condemned Turkey’s actions, and Kofod is satisfied with the content of the agreement.

“We can do much more when the EU stands together and speaks with the same voice. A common EU conclusion on stopping arms export is a step in the right direction,” he added.

Following the Danish example
Denmark has been following a restrictive approach to arms exports to Turkey since last year, and last week Danish politicians were quick to condemn Turkey’s offensive in Syria.

“The Danish government has been pushing for a common EU decision on arms sales in Turkey,” said Kofod.

Turkey thinks it’s a “joke”
As expected, the Turkish government has condemned the measures taken by the EU and its foreign ministry has said it will review its collaboration with the EU as a result of this “unlawful and biased attitude.”

Sadik Arslan, the Turkish ambassador to the UN, has called the restrictions a “joke”, adding that the country has “a big enough capacity to substitute them with much better alternatives”.