Saudi-Jordan joint statement underlines solid bilateral ties

Jordan’s King Abdallah II and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman review honor guards at the airport in Amman, Jordan. (REUTERS)
Updated 29 March 2017

Saudi-Jordan joint statement underlines solid bilateral ties

AMMAN: A joint statement was issued Tuesday on the occasion of King Salman’s visit to Jordan at the invitation of King Abdallah.
Based on “solid and distinguished” bilateral relations, the visit aimed to enhance political, security, military, investment, cultural, agricultural, labor, transport, housing and energy cooperation between the two countries, the statement said, adding that the two sides discussed regional and international issues of mutual concern.
The meetings of the Saudi-Jordanian Coordination Council and the Joint Jordanian-Saudi Committee “ensure the development” of bilateral relations “and serve the common interests of the two countries and their peoples,” said the statement, adding that a number of agreements and memoranda of understanding were signed.
The two sides stressed “the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and their right to establish an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.”
They expressed their desire to strengthen ties between Arab and Islamic countries, and to enhance communication between them at all levels. They wished success to the 28th Arab Summit to be held in Jordan.
The two sides expressed their support for international efforts to combat the “growing threat of extremism, terrorism and violence.”
They stressed the importance of finding a political solution “to end the tragedy of the Syrian people and preserve the unity of Syria and its institutions.”
They stressed the importance of “preserving Yemen’s unity, achieving its security and stability, supporting its legitimate government, and finding a political solution to the Yemeni crisis,” as well as “facilitating the access of humanitarian assistance to all Yemeni regions.”
The two sides said Libyans must work to maintain their country’s security, stability and unity.
They expressed deep concern about Iran’s “interference” in the internal affairs of the region’s countries, and its stoking of “sectarian strife and its support for terrorism.”
King Salman thanked Jordan’s monarch, government and people for their warm hospitality.

Will European arms ban impact Turkey’s Syria operation?

Updated 19 min 50 sec ago

Will European arms ban impact Turkey’s Syria operation?

  • Several European countries imposing weapons embargoes on Turkey

ANKARA: With an increasing number of European countries imposing weapons embargoes on Turkey over its ongoing operation in northeastern Syria, Ankara’s existing inventory of weapons and military capabilities are under the spotlight.

More punitive measures on a wider scale are expected during a summit of EU leaders in Brussels on Oct. 17.

It could further strain already deteriorating relations between Ankara and the bloc.

However, a EU-wide arms embargo would require an unanimous decision by all the leaders.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned last week of a possible refugee flow if Turkey “opened the doors” for 3.6 million Syrian refugees to go to Europe — putting into question the clauses of the 2016 migration deal between Ankara and Brussels.

“The impact of EU member states’ arms sanctions on Turkey depends on the level of Turkey’s stockpiles,” Caglar Kurc, a researcher on defense and armed forces, told Arab News.

Kurc thinks Turkey has foreseen the possible arms sanctions and stockpiled enough spare parts to maintain the military during the operation.

“As long as Turkey can maintain its military, sanctions would not have any effect on the operation. Therefore, Turkey will not change its decisions,” he said.

So far, Germany, France, Finland, the Netherlands and Norway have announced they have stopped weapons shipments to fellow NATO member Turkey, condemning the offensive.

“Against the backdrop of the Turkish military offensive in northeastern Syria, the federal government will not issue new permits for all armaments that could be used by Turkey in Syria,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

Following Germany’s move, the French government announced: “France has decided to suspend all export projects of armaments to Turkey that could be deployed as part of the offensive in Syria. This decision takes effect immediately.”

While not referring to any arms embargo, the UK urged Turkey to end the operation and enter into dialogue.

Turkey received one-third of Germany’s arms exports of €771 million ($850.8 million) in 2018. 

According to Kurc, if sanctions extend beyond weapons that could be used in Syria, there could be a negative impact on the overall defense industry.

“However, in such a case, Turkey would shift to alternative suppliers: Russia and China would be more likely candidates,” he said.

According to Sinan Ulgen, the chairman of the Istanbul-based EDAM think tank and a visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe, the arms embargo would not have a long-term impact essentially because most of the sanctions are caveated and limited to materials that can be used by Turkey in its cross-border operation.

“So the arms embargo does not cover all aspects of the arms trade between Turkey and the EU. These measures look essentially like they are intended to demonstrate to their own critical publics that their governments are doing something about what they see as a negative aspect of Turkey’s behavior,” he told Arab News.

Turkey, however, insists that the Syria operation, dubbed “Operation Peace Spring,” is undeterred by any bans or embargoes.

“No matter what anyone does, no matter if it’s an arms embargo or anything else, it just strengthens us,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told German radio station Deutsche Welle.