France, Germany halting arms exports to Turkey over its offensive against Kurds in Syria

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Members of The American Rojava Center for Democracy, an organization that advocates for freedom, democracy, and peace in Syria, take part with other activists in a rally outside the White House in Washington to protest Turkey's incursion into Kurdish-controlled northeast Syria and urge US action against Turkey. (REUTERS/Carlos Jasso)
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Turkish-baked Syrian fighters drive an armoured personnel carrier near the Syrian border town of Tal Abyad on October 12, 2019, as they prepare to take part in the Turkish-led assault on northeastern Syria. (AFP / Bakr Alkasem)
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Kurds living in Greece shout slogans while burning a poster depicting Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan during a demonstration against Turkey's military action in northeastern Syria, in Athens on October 12, 2019. (REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis)
Updated 13 October 2019

France, Germany halting arms exports to Turkey over its offensive against Kurds in Syria

  • France to push for a “Europe-wide approach” toward suspended arms sales at an EU foreign ministers’ meeting on Monday
  • It also wants a meeting of the anti-Daesh coalition to discuss its next steps in the context of the Turkish actions

AKCAKALE, Turkey: France and Germany on Saturday said they were halting exports of any arms to Turkey that could be used in its offensive against Kurds in Syria.
France also wants an immediate meeting of the US-led coalition against Daesh extremists, of which Syrian Kurds were among the key players.
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.
Earlier on Saturday, the League of Arab states urged the UN Security Council to suspend military and intelligence support that could help Turkey’s offensive.
In a communique, the League said it rejected Turkey’s attempts to impose “demographic changes” in Syria by a so-called “safe zone.”
France, in a statement, said it will push for a “Europe-wide approach” toward suspended arms sales at an EU foreign ministers’ meeting on Monday.


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The French government argues the offensive is causing growing humanitarian problems and threatens the international fight against Daesh militants, “and therefore threatens European security.” Daesh-linked extremists have staged deadly attacks in European countries.
France wants a meeting of the anti-Daesh 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.
Austria, Switzerland and Greece also saw Kurdish demonstrations against Turkey’s offensive in Syria.
About 1,000 Kurds and a contingent of left-wing activists have protested in the northern city of Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest, against the Turkish military offensive in northern Syria.
The protesters carried banners, including one saying, “Where is the UN?” and burned pictures of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. They repeated the photo burning and slogans outside the Turkish consulate. Both premises were guarded by police forces.
In the capital Athens, police said close to 2,000 Kurds and other activists marched to the Turkish Embassy in the city center but police prevented them from getting too close. They dispersed after a peaceful protest. A small contingent of 150 protesters also marched to the US Embassy.


Former finance minister Mohammad Safadi put forward to be next Lebanese PM

Updated 1 min ago

Former finance minister Mohammad Safadi put forward to be next Lebanese PM

BEIRUT: Several major Lebanese parties have agreed on nominating Mohammad Safadi, a former finance minister, as the prime minister of a new government, the Lebanese broadcasters LBCI and MTV reported on Thursday.
The agreement took place in a meeting on Friday between outgoing Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Lebanon's leading Sunni politician, and senior representatives of the Shiite groups Amal and Hezbollah.
MTV said the government would be a mixture of politicians and technocrats.