EU summit rates Turkey's actions in Syria as threat to European security

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BRUSSELS (Sputnik) – The EU summit called Turkey's actions in northeastern Syria a "threat to European security", it follows from a joint statement by European leaders.

"The EU condemns the unilateral military actions of Turkey in northeastern Syria, which (…) seriously threaten European security," the statement says.

At the same time, it is specified that "the European Council takes into account the declaration by the US and Turkey on the suspension of all military operations".
EU leaders "urged Turkey to cease hostilities, withdraw its troops and comply with international humanitarian law."

On October 17, the president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the US vice president, Mike Pence, after negotiations of more than four hours, agreed to cease fire in Syria for 120 hours for the Kurdosyrians to withdraw their forces to 30 kilometers from the Turkish border.

Turkey began on October 9 an offensive in northern Syria to, it announced, move Kurdish militias away from the Turkish border and establish a safe area in the northeast of the Arab country to accommodate the thousands of Syrian refugees who remain in the territory Turkish.

The operation, called Peace Fountain, points against the Kurdish-led formations, including the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDS), the militias of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Popular Protection Units (YPG) that dominate the Syrian northeast and to which Turkey links with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which he considers terrorist.
Dozens of countries condemned the Turkish offensive by calling it "aggression" that violates the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria, some European nations, including Germany, France and the Czech Republic, have already suspended the supply of weapons to Turkey; others are considering similar restrictions.

The president of Syria, Bashar Asad, declared that his country will respond by all legal means to the Turkish aggression.

Sanctions against Turkey for its activity in Cyprus

The EU Summit approved the decision to prepare sanctions against Turkey for its exploration activities in Cyprus.

"The European Council approves the conclusions of the EU Council on the illegal activities of Turkey in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus and confirms its solidarity with Cyprus," says the statement.

Earlier this week, EU Foreign Ministers agreed in Luxembourg to impose sanctions against Turkey and ordered measures to be taken against those involved in this activity.

At the beginning of October, Cyprus strongly condemned Turkey's intention to carry out further drilling of the hydrocarbon deposits on the island.
According to the Cypriot government, Turkey's plans they constitute a flagrant violation of the sovereignty of the republic, of maritime law and international law.

For his part, the Greek Prime Minister said in a meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that he expects Washington's reaction to the illegal actions of Ankara.

Turkey has two drilling rigs in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus, and maintains that it is entitled to the natural resources of the so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, proclaimed in 1983 in the territories occupied by the Turks and recognized only by Ankara.



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