BRUSSELS, Oct. 11 (EUROPE PRESS) –
The president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, has censored the threats “totally out of place” of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of “opening the doors” to refugees if European countries cross out their military offensive in northeastern Syria as “an invasion” and has warned him that “they” will never accept to use refugees to blackmail them.
“We will never accept that refugees are turned into weapons or used to blackmail us,” Tusk warned from Nicosia after meeting with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, making it clear that Erdogan's threats are “totally out of place.”
Tusk has made it clear that Turkey's unilateral military operation against Kurdish militias in northeastern Syria “is of grave concern and must stop” and that Ankara must understand that the “main concern” of Europeans is for their offensive to lead to ” another humanitarian catastrophe, “something” unacceptable, “recalling the already” dramatic “situation in Syria.
“A military intervention will only make things worse. Instead of creating stability, it will create more instability throughout the region, exacerbate the suffering of civilians, cause more displacement and threaten the process achieved by the global coalition against the Islamic State,” he warned. .
Tusk recalled that Kurdish militias “have been crucial in the fight against the Islamic State” and has made it clear that “abandoning them is not only a bad idea, as President Trump has said, but also raises many questions, both of nature strategic as moral “and has urged Ankara to resolve its” security concerns “through” political and diplomatic “means.
After sending a Turkish vessel last Friday to the waters of the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus to conduct new gas and oil surveys, Erdogan has reiterated the “full solidarity” of the block with Cyprus and has urged Turkey to put an end to these activities, which EU leaders have already made clear that they are “illegal” and have condemned “firmly” in the past.
“I ask Turkey to end these activities because they not only undermine recent efforts to resume discussions to resolve (the conflict) in Cyprus but also undermine good neighborhood relations between the EU as a whole and Turkey,” he said.
The European Union foreign ministers will address on Monday in Luxembourg the response of the bloc to the Turkish military offensive in northeastern Syria and its new explorations in waters of the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus, including the possibility of “targeted measures” in response to the latter.