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Turkey/Syria: EU must impose arms embargo and targeted sanctions

Press release

The Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament is calling for an immediate halt to arms exports, targeted sanctions and a review of European Investment Bank projects following the Turkish government's military operation in Syria and the deal between Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The European Parliament's resolution, on the initiative of the Greens/EFA Group, will be voted on tomorrow (Thursday 24 October) and a large majority is expected.

Hannah Neumann, Green/EFA Group coordinator in the Security and Defence and Human Rights Committees, comments:

"The German Government and the European Union must clearly condemn the fact that Moscow and Ankara are dividing Syria among themselves and that the Russian President is staging himself as an angel of peace on the back of the Kurds. The Turkish invasion must have clear consequences. No more European weapons must be used in this war. The EU Member States must agree on an immediate arms embargo on Turkey and stop all arms exports to Turkey and military and security support with immediate effect. The top priority is de-escalation and the protection of the civilian population from war crimes and ethnic cleansing.

Those responsible for the suffering in Syria must not go unpunished. War crimes must be documented, and the EU must adopt targeted sanctions against those responsible for war crimes, such as the freezing of accounts and visa bans. National interests in refugee or arms export policy must not allow EU Member States to be played off against each other. Only together does the EU have a chance to have a pacifying effect on the conflict.

– Hannah Neumann, MEP

Sergey Lagodinsky, Chairman of the European Parliament delegation to Turkey and Green/EFA Group substitute member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, added:

"By invading Syria, the Turkish Government is clearly acting in violation of international law. The European Union and the Federal Government must name this breach of international law as such and draw the consequences. As an important trading partner for Turkey, the EU must use its room for manoeuvre and apply economic levers, review investments by the European Investment Bank and stop arms exports.

The speculations of Federal Minister of Defense Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer about a military mission are not a solid basis for a serious discussion. What is clear is that the European Union and Germany must become more capable of acting in foreign policy. The way forward is through the principles of international law and links to the United Nations, not through immature and uncoordinated ideas from Berlin. We must urgently ensure that the rights of the Kurds are respected and enforced, even in the context of a new power constellation in northern Syria.

– Sergey Lagodinsky, MEP
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