The 28 EU countries are temporarily no longer supplying weapons to Turkey but are refraining from introducing a full arms embargo. Foreign ministers also unanimously condemned the Turkish military operation.
It is the first time that European NATO countries have condemned another NATO country for military action. A number of EU countries, including the Netherlands, Germany and France, had already suspended arms deliveries. The countries call Turkey again & #8220; immediately & #8221; to stop the raid on Syria.
It did not come to a legally watertight arms embargo because its elaboration is time-consuming. It was not expected in advance that the EU would unanimously condemn the operation. The United Kingdom and some Eastern European countries in particular, according to diplomats, had opposed this, but eventually went tacky.
The EU ministers also take a new step against Turkish illegal drilling activities in the Mediterranean near Cyprus. They asked EU foreign chief Federica Mogherini to continue with the elaboration of sanctions for Turkish persons and organizations responsible for this.
Dutch minister Stef Blok said that he expects Turkish President Erdogan the & #8220; very annoying & #8221; will find that the 28 EU countries unanimously condemn the Turkish military operation in northern Syria and suspend their arms deliveries to Ankara. Blok said that after the entire EU took the position that the Netherlands already took last week, he said.
Only a few countries supported the Dutch position last week. The & #8220; terrible images & #8221; according to Blok, the last countries have given a boost.
The Netherlands still does not exclude further sanctions, such as stopping billions in accession aid to the candidate EU member state. More and more politicians, including in the European Parliament, are of the opinion that it is now time to stop the 'admission process' of Turkey.
The EU countries are addressing Turkey to the danger of IS fighters escaping now that the Kurds can no longer keep them captive and guard them. The Kurds and the United States have repeatedly urged the EU countries to take back their 'foreign' IS fighters, and to prosecute themselves legally. But most EU countries still reject that.
In the meantime, it has become clear on the battlefield in northeastern Syria that the cornered Kurdish militias of the Syrian anti-Assad front are seeking security by seeking protection from the Syrian government army. The SDF Kurds have given the government army permission to enter the large Kurdish cities. With this, the Kurds, after years of struggle, return the Syrian territory they have taken back to Syria.