European Union (EU) foreign ministers have condemned Turkey’s military intervention in north-eastern Syria but stopped short of agreeing an EU-wide arms embargo.
The EU foreign ministers made this known in a statement on Monday.
“The EU condemns Turkey’s military action which seriously undermines the stability and the security of the whole region, resulting in more civilians suffering and further displacement and severely hindering access to humanitarian assistance,” they say in a statement.
“The EU recalls the decision taken by some member states to immediately halt arms exports licensing to Turkey,” they added, referring to “strong national positions”.
EU member-state representatives are to meet later this week to “coordinate and review” their positions.
The bloc also calls for a ministerial meeting of the international coalition against the Islamic State extremist group “to address how to pursue its efforts in the current context”.
There is to be no EU arms embargo on Turkey but all EU member states have pledged to take equivalent action at national level, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio says.
“All the (EU) countries condemn what Turkey is doing in Syrian territory and, above all, all the member states have committed to blocking arms exports (to Turkey),” he says.
Thus Italy is “in the coming hours” to join other EU nations in blocking arms sales to Turkey but the measure is to concern only future contracts, not ongoing supplies, Di Maio said.
Di Maio said the decision to proceed via national decision was “definitely quicker than an EU arms embargo procedure”.