Today (Wednesday, 9 October 2019), Turkish military forces have launched an offensive in Northern Syria.
Dr. Sergey Lagodinsky, Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee of the European Parliament, comments:
“I am deeply concerned about the humanitarian, geopolitical and bilateral costs of this intervention.
I recognize Turkey’s legitimate security interests in the region, however this military operation will in no way advance peace in the region and will jeopardize the Turkish position in the long term.
We acknowledge the exceptional efforts that Turkey has demonstrated by hosting so many Syrian refugees. This is why the EU has been contributing to those efforts financially. However, we must ensure that the EU will not finance any resettlements of refugees outside of the Turkish territory. We should neither condone nor finance forceful demographic shifts in Northern Syria, especially those that come at cost of people who already had to flee their homes once.
The unilateral withdrawal of US troops is a strategic blow for the region and contains considerable spill-over risks for Europe. But the situation following the American announcement also proves the urgent need for a coherent, coordinated and effective common EU foreign and security policy. The fact that the EU never became a responsible political actor for peace in Syria proves that a lot of homework is to be done by the European Union itself.
The Turkish-EU relationship deserves a positive agenda. The invasion of Turkish troops in Syria is a serious disruption for any future partnership.”