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2019.10.14 17:58

EU condemning Turkey is only the beginning, says Lithuanian Foreign Minister

LRT.lt, LRT RADIJAS2019.10.14 17:58

Speaking to LRT RADIO from Luxembourg, Lithuania's Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius said the EU statement on Monday condemning Turkish military action in Syria was "the beginning of our reaction".

The document mentions "not just concern, but also condemnation, a word that is not used often". According to Linkevičius, the statement stresses that the deteriorating humanitarian situation in northern Syria and that Turkey's actions will negatively affect efforts against ISIS.

"Several countries have introduced a weapons embargo. That is also a strong message for Turkey," Linkevičius said.

He did not rule out the possibility that, if the Kurdish and Syrian forces push back the Turks, Ankara might activate Article 5 of the NATO treaty.

"This would further complicate the situation," according to Linkevičius. "We already have five armies there: Iran, Russia, Israel, Turkey [and Syria]. So we have an overlap of interests and challenges. [...] There are too many unanswered questions and we must monitor the situation.”

According to Linkevičius, the EU has also managed to adopt several conclusions, including on Turkey's “illegal drilling near Cyprus’ shores”.