France, Germany suspend arms exports to Turkey

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France and Germany have suspended arms exports to Turkey over its offensive into Syria against Kurdish fighters, as protesters denounced Ankara at rallies in several European cities.

Turkish soldiers on Wednesday launched a cross-border assault against Kurdish fighters. Turkey sees as terrorists in defiance of international criticism and threats of sanctions.

In a joint statement from the defence and foreign ministries yesterday, France said it had suspended all planned exports of war materials to Turkey that could be used in their offensive into Syria. The Paris statement came hours after Germany, one of Turkey's main arms suppliers, also said it had suspended exports.

A number of countries have condemned Turkey's offensive, and Finland, Norway and The Netherlands have already announced that they are stopping arms exports to the country.

The French statement said, a meeting of the European Union's foreign affairs committee in Luxembourg tomorrow will decide on a coordinated European approach to the issue. Both the French and German statements warned that the offensive could have serious humanitarian consequences. (AIR)