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EU to debate arms gross sales to Turkey with NATO and new US administration, Germany’s Merkel says

The EU will seek the advice of with allies within the US-led NATO bloc and new US administration on weapon gross sales to Turkey, German Chancellor Angela Merkel mentioned in response to a Greek push for an arms embargo on Ankara.

Merkel was talking within the wake of an EU leaders’ summit, which agreed to arrange restricted sanctions towards Turkish people over its Mediterranean power exploration dispute with Greece and Cyprus. The bloc stopped wanting introducing restrictions towards sectors of the Turkish financial system or an arms embargo wished by Athens. Nevertheless, such measures might nonetheless be launched in March if Ankara stays uncooperative.

“We additionally spoke about how questions on arms exports should be mentioned inside NATO. We mentioned that we wish to coordinate with the brand new US administration about Turkey,” Merkel mentioned throughout a press convention.

The European Union and NATO, which incorporates many European nations, are planning to carry a summit with Joe Biden if he takes workplace from Donald Trump in January.

Greece has been demanding “significant sanctions” and an arms embargo on Ankara for months after competing claims on energy-rich continental cabinets within the east Mediterranean noticed the 2 neighbors mobilize their warships and planes.

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Earlier than the summit, Greek media reported that the nation’s prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, was going to warn his EU counterparts on the assembly that the weapons they have been promoting to Turkey might find yourself getting used towards them.

Athens is very involved about German-designed T-214 submarines. Turkey, which is constructing them regionally, expects the supply of elements for six vessels from Berlin.

Brussels has grown more and more sad about what it calls Turkish “expansionist” insurance policies, which embrace not solely the dispute with Greece, but additionally Turkey’s involvement within the preventing in Libya and its assist of Azerbaijan within the current Nagorno-Karabakh battle,

However the bloc couldn’t agree on sanctions towards Ankara for a very long time as Turkey additionally has NATO membership, aspires to hitch the EU, and hosts virtually 4 million refugees from Syria, stopping them from attempting to make it to Europe.

In 2019, Brussels had already determined to restrict arms gross sales to Turkey, however a bloc-wide ban nonetheless hasn’t been launched. Some EU governments, together with France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain, introduced final yr that they have been halting or proscribing arms deliveries license approvals for Ankara.

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The highest EU exporters of arms to Turkey between 2015 and 2019 have been Italy and Spain, in accordance the information from Stockholm Worldwide Peace Analysis Institute (SIPRI).

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