Norway, Finland and Netherlands suspend military equipment sales to Turkey over Syria offensive

Norway and the Netherlands have followed Finland’s lead in the suspension of military exports to Turkey following its military offensive in Syria.

On Friday, the Norwegian Foreign Ministry stated that it would halt the processing of any new applications for export licenses for military and multi-use military products to Turkey. The ministry also said that it would conduct reviews on any extant ones.

“As the situation is unclear and rapidly changing, the Foreign Ministry, as a precautionary measure, will not process new applications for export licenses for military and multi-use military products to Turkey for the time being,” Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide explained in a statement.

Søreide also added that all valid licenses to Turkey will also be reviewed, Dagbladet reports.

“We are following the situation with deep concern and are reiterating our clear call for Turkey to end its military operation and respect international law. The Foreign Ministry has also expressed this in a meeting with Turkey’s ambassador to Norway today,” Søreide continued.

Earlier this week on Wednesday, Finland’s Defense Ministry announced it would cease all military exports to Turkey, ANF reports. Yesterday the Netherlands did the same.

Finnish Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen took to Twitter to write: “The situation is severe. Regarding my area of ​​responsibility, I would say this: Finland does not export defense materials to warring countries or countries that violate human rights.”

“No new license will be granted to sell arms to Turkey by the Defense Ministry. As for previously approved licenses, the review is underway,” Kaikkonen said.

The government in Sweden has also suggested that defense exports to Turkey should be stopped at the European Union level. In recent years, Sweden’s military exports to Turkey have risen substantially.

Earlier in the week, Turkey began what it’s calling ‘Operating Peace Spring’, a military offensive in Kurdish-dominated northeastern Syria to clear the area of so-called ‘terrorists’ – a term Turkey uses to describe Kurds.

Europe’s widespread condemnation of the military operation has enraged Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan. Following the harsh criticism from his NATO ‘allies’, Erdogan – for the second time – threatened to flood Europe with 3.6 million migrants living in Turkey.
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