Mon. Mar 30th, 2020

Berlin limits arms exports to Turkey for military offensive in Syria

Germany will further limit arms exports to Turkey as a result of the Turkish military offensive in northeastern Syria.

"In the face of the Turkish military offensive in northeastern Syria, the (German) government will not issue new authorizations for all weapons that can be used by Turkey in Syria," says German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, in statements that the Sunday "Bild am Sonntag".

According to the minister, the German Government has maintained a very restrictive line since 2016 regarding the export of weapons to Ankara, particularly after the Turkish military offensive in the Kurdish enclave of Afrín, in northern Syria.

However, the suspension of arms to Turkey had not been ordered so far.

Arms exports to Turkey amounted to 242.8 million euros in 2018, almost a third of 770.8 million euros in arms exported by Germany last year.

In the first four months of this year, Ankara received from Germany weapons worth 184.1 million euros, which makes Turkey, like last year, the first country receiving weapons.

Maas condemned last Wednesday the Turkish offensive after knowing the decision of the United States to withdraw its support to the Kurdish forces that controlled this strip of territory.

"We strongly condemn the Turkish offensive in northwestern Syria. Turkey thus contributes to further destabilize the region and risks strengthening the Islamic State," the minister said in a statement.

The German government urged Turkey yesterday to "immediately stop" its offensive in northwestern Syria and warned that the issue will be addressed among the European Union (EU) partners.

"Turkey must abide by the rules of proportionality in the interventions of its army," said a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to remind then that "is also part of his duties" as a NATO partner.

. (tagsToTranslate) Berlin (t) export (t) armament (t) Turkey (t) Syria

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