Turkish government’s invasion of Syria: EU must draw consequences

German language version available here.

The Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament is calling for an immediate ban on arms exports to Turkey, targeted sanctions and a review of European Investment Bank projects following the government’s military operation in Syria.

The European Parliament resolution on the initiative of the Greens/EFA Group will be voted on tomorrow (Thursday 24 October) and a large majority is expected. 

Dr. Sergey Lagodinsky, Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee of the European Parliament (“Turkey Delegation”), comments:

“It is a scandal that two authoritarian rulers are dividing up the region at the expense of the civilian population and Europe is allowing itself to be degraded to a spectator. The Turkish government’s invasion of Syria is a clear breach of international law. The European Union and the German government must call out this breach of international law and draw consequences. The EU is an important trading partner for Turkey, and therefore has multiple options to react: applying economic leverage, reconsidering investments of the European Investment Bank, stopping arms exports – there is room for political action.

On the other hand, German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer’s speculations about a military operation do not provide a sound basis for a serious discussion. It is clear that the European Union and Germany must become more active and effective actors in foreign policy. However, the way to achieve this is via the principles of international law and linked to the United Nations, not via undeveloped and uncoordinated ideas from Berlin. First and foremost we must now urgently ensure that the rights of the Kurds are protected and enforced in the context of any new power constellation in Northern Syria.”

Background: On Wednesday, 9 October 2019, Turkish military forces have launched an offensive in Northern Syria.

The draft text of the resolution to be voted in the plenary of the European Parliament tomorrow (24 October 2019) can be found here: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/RC-9-2019-0123_EN.html

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