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EU Parliament Head Calls for Halting Turkey-EU Accession Talks, Imposing More Sanctions

© Sputnik / Alexey Vitvitsky / Go to the photo bankFlags outside the building of the European Parliament in Strasbourg
Flags outside the building of the European Parliament in Strasbourg - Sputnik International
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BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - The European Union should suspend negotiations with Turkey on accession to the bloc and adopt economic sanctions in order to stop Ankara's military operation against Kurdish militia in Syria, EU Parliament President David Sassoli said on Thursday.

"The Kurdish population of north-eastern Syria, which fought bravely against the terrorists of the so-called Islamic State*, is now under attack by a NATO country. We emphatically and unreservedly condemn Turkey’s military action in north-eastern Syria. This constitutes a grave violation of international law, undermines the stability and security of the region as a whole, bringing further suffering to people already affected by war, as well as obstructing access to humanitarian assistance," Sassoli said at a European Council meeting in Brussels.

According to Sassoli, the EU Parliament welcomes the decision to coordinate national embargoes on future sales of arms to Turkey, though, this must be just a first step before introducing economic sanctions against Ankara.

"It is our duty to send an unambiguous message by promoting a joint EU embargo not just on future arms shipments, but also on those already on their way ... We must do everything in our power to stop this act of aggression and launch an initiative that can be thrashed out within NATO and submitted to the UN Security Council ... Against this background, the European Parliament reiterates its call for the accession negotiations with Turkey to be suspended," he added.

Turkey began the offensive, dubbed Operation Peace Spring, in northern Syria on October 9 with the aim of setting up a 20-mile buffer zone free of any Kurdish presence along its border with Syria. Damascus has called the operation an invasion and deployed its troops to the north of the country.

*Daesh (ISIL/ISIS/Islamic State/IS), a terrorist group banned in Russia and a wide number of other countries.

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