Luxembourg, Oct 14 (IANS/AKI) European Union member states have pledged to “block arms exports” to Turkey” over its military offensive in northern Syria, following a request by Italy, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Monday.
“It was a very important Council meeting,” Di Maio told reporters after a Foreign Affairs Council summit in Luxembourg attended by EU Foreign Ministers.
“Italy’s request was a commitment by all European states Europeans to block arms exports to Turkey in future because we cannot accept what it is doing.
“Europe speaks today with one voice and all states condemn Turkey’s actions in Syrian territory”, Di Maio said.
“Members states have agreed to block arms exports,” he added.
The Italian Foreign Minister had earlier announced that his country poised to ban future arms export deals to Turkey over its military offensive and hoped other European Union countries will uphold a pledge do the same.
“A ministerial decree will in the next few hours stop the export of arms to Turkey in the case of future contracts,” he had said.
It is key that all EU states immediately adopt national bans on future arms exports to Turkey, avoiding “months and months” of work to get agreement on a European arms embargo, Di Maio underlined.
Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring aerial campaign in northeast Syria began last week after US President Donald Trump said that US forces would withdraw from the region. The offensive against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) has caused an international outcry and left dozens of civilians and fighters dead.