France suspends arms exports to Turkey


France joined Germany in announcing this weekend a suspension of weapons sales to Turkey for as long as Ankara continues with its military invasion of a neighbouring part of northern Syria, a ban which the French defence minister said concerned 'war materials that could be used in the context of this offensive'.

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France and Germany have announced that they are temporarily halting arms exports to Turkey over the country's military incursion into northern Syria, reports Euronews.

"Against the backdrop of the Turkish military offensive ... the Federal Government will not issue any new permits for all military equipment that could be used by Turkey in Syria," Germany's foreign minister Heiko Maas stated on Saturday afternoon.

Hours later, Florence Parly, the French Minister of the Armed Forces, issued a similar statement.

"Pending the cessation of the Turkish offensive in North-East Syria, France has decided to suspend any plans to export to Turkey war materials that could be used in the context of this offensive. This decision is of immediate effect," she wrote on Twitter.

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Berlin and Paris join fellow European countries the Netherlands, Norway, and Finland in their blockade, with the latter stating that the arms export ban concerned not only Turkey but also any other country involved in the fighting.

Turkey launched its military operation into northern Syria on Wednesday, days after the US announced that it was pulling troops from the area.

Ankara argues the offensive against the Western-backed, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) — which is affiliated to Kurdish groups Turkey recognises as terror organisations — will allow the creation of a "safe zone" along its border where the more than three million Syrian refugees it currently hosts will be able to relocate.

But Western countries, including the European Union, the US, and Australia, have condemned the military operation, warning that it could have dangerous consequences.

Read more of this report from Euronews.


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