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Parliamentary questions
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16 January 2020
Answer given by Vice-President Borrell
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-003736/2019

The EU reacted swiftly right at the start of Turkey’s unilateral military incursion with a Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU, which the High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini presented personally to the European Parliament Plenary on the evening of 9 October 2019.

The Foreign Affairs Council Conclusions of 14 October 2019(1) reinforced the EU’s call for a permanent halt of the Turkish military operation in Syria. As per the same Conclusions, Member States committed ‘to strong national positions regarding their arms export policy to Turkey on the basis of the provision of the Common Position 2008/944/CFSP on arms export control’.

The responsible Council Working Group remains seized on this important matter. In the 17 October 2019, European Council Conclusions(2) the EU has condemned the Turkish unilateral military operation and has urged Turkey to cease it.

Meanwhile, the EU continues its steadfast support to United Nations (UN) Special Envoy Pedersen’s work to revitalise the political process and ensure full implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2254. The EU’s position has always been that this is the only sustainable solution to the Syrian conflict. Full respect for international humanitarian law is critically important.

The EU has also been clear and outspoken regarding the need for accountability for all those responsible for committing violations of international humanitarian and human rights law throughout the Syrian conflict. Turkey has promised to investigate any criminal act, and the Commission will insist and follow upon this commitment.

Last updated: 16 January 2020Legal notice