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France, Germany halt arms exports to Turkey over offensive in Syria

Syria borders

France and Germany said they were halting exports of any arms to Turkey that could be used in its offensive against Kurds in Syria.

France’s defense and foreign ministries made the announcement in a statement reiterating opposition to the Turkish military operation, which is facing growing international condemnation.

In a statement, France said it will push for a “Europe-wide approach” toward suspended arms sales at an EU foreign ministers’ meeting on Monday.

The French government argues the offensive is causing growing humanitarian problems and threatens the international fight against ISIS militants, “and therefore threatens European security.” 

Moreover, France wants a meeting of the anti-ISIS coalition to discuss its next steps in the context of the Turkish actions.

Germany also announced on Saturday it was curtailing arms exports to Turkey.
Heiko Maas told weekly Bild am Sonntag that, “against the background of the Turkish military offensive in northeastern Syria, the government will not issue any new permissions for any weapons that can be used by Turkey in Syria.”

Maas’ remarks came as thousands of Kurdish immigrants rallied against the Turkish military offensive in cities across Germany. Germany is home to one of the biggest Kurdish communities in Europe.

Earlier on Saturday, the Arab League urged the UN Security Council to suspend military and intelligence support that could help Turkey’s offensive.