The European Union limit arms sales to Turkey but avoid embargo

The European Union agreed on Monday to limit arms exports to Turkey over its offensive in northern Syria, prompting condemnation from Ankara, even as they stopped short of a bloc-wide embargo against a NATO ally. Italy, the top arms exporter to Turkey last year, said it would join a ban on selling weapons and ammunition to Ankara after a weekend decision by France and Germany to suspend sales, and Spain signaled it was ready to do so. With a host of other countries including the Netherlands, Finland, and Sweden halting such exports, the EU’s collective position was mainly aimed at avoiding a legally-binding embargo on Turkey, a longtime candidate to join the bloc.

A full embargo would have grouped Turkey with Venezuela and Russia, countries where the EU has a formal ban and views them as hostile. Diplomats said ministers were not ready for an embargo despite anger at President Tayyip Erdogan.

“We do not wish to support this war and do not want to make arms available,” German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, told reporters according to sources from RushHourDaily.

Foreign ministers also agreed to draw up economic sanctions on Ankara over Turkish oil-and-gas drilling near Cyprus, although names will come at a later stage.

According to RushHourDaily, The Turkish government said it “fully rejected and condemned” the decisions taken and calls made by the EU on the two issues.

“We will seriously review our cooperation with the EU on certain areas due to its unlawful and biased attitude,” Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

In their statement after a four-hour-long debate in Luxembourg, ministers agreed to “commit to strong national positions regarding their arms export policy to Turkey”.

Via Facebook, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said on the sidelines of the meeting: “In the next few hours, Italy too will sign a ban on the export of arms to Turkey”.

Belgium also said it backed stopping arms exports.

According to RushHourDaily, The Turkish lira slid 0.8% on Monday in the face of U.S. and European threats of sanctions, though skeptical traders said it would weaken much further if Western allies turned words into action over Turkey’s incursion in Syria.

Turkey’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Sadik Arslan,   former Erdogan adviser, dismissed the EU measures as “a joke.” He told reporters: “We have enough of an industrial base to substitute them with our much better systems.”

The European Union exported 45 million euros ($50 million) worth of arms and ammunition to Turkey last year, including missiles, according to EU statistics office Eurostat, with Italy the main vendor, followed by Spain, Britain, and Germany.

Sources from RushHourDaily says Sales of aircraft to Turkey, although not all military, amounted to 1.4 billion euros last year, according to Eurostat, led by France. The EU is the top foreign investor in Turkey.

Read also: Russia-backed Syrian army sweeps in after U.S. announces abrupt exit

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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