14 October 2019 - 09:37
News ID: 447487
A
France and Germany have announced that they are imposing an immediate halt to arms exports to Turkey over Ankara’s continued war on Kurds in northern Syria.

RNA - A joint statement from French foreign and defense ministries on Saturday said Paris had suspended all weapon sales to Turkey, insisting that the offensive launched into northeastern Syria was a threat to European security.

“In expectation of the end of this offensive, France has decided to suspend all plans to export to Turkey weapons that could be used in this offensive. This decision is with immediate effect,” said the statement.

The announcement came hours after Germany also said it had suspended all weapons sales to Turkey, a move that could seriously affect Turkish defense procurement as the country imports more than $250 million worth of German arms a year.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told the Sunday edition of the Bild newspaper that Germany would stop issuing any new permits for any military equipment that Turkey could use in its operation in Syria.

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu reacted to Germany’s decision, saying the move would only embolden Turkey to go on with the offensive in Syria.

France said European Union foreign ministers are expected to coordinate their position on further possible sanctions on Turkey in a meeting in Luxembourg on Monday.

Other European countries, including Finland, Norway and The Netherland, have already suspended arms sales to Turkey over the attacks in Syria.

Turkey began its military operation into Kurdish-dominated regions north of Syria four days ago after the United States withdrew a bulk of its forces from the region.

Turkey views Kurdish militants that had been allied to the US and other Western forces in Syria as an extension of the Kurdish insurgency in its own territories.

The Turkish operation in Syria has faced huge international outrage with people in several European countries holding large protests against the offensive on Saturday.

Broth France and Germany said on Sunday that continued attacks into northeastern Syria could lead to serious humanitarian consequences.

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