Foreign ministers discuss Turkey-Syria conflict

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By Jack Parrock
Foreign ministers discuss Turkey-Syria conflict
Copyright  EU   -   Mauro Bottaro

EU foreign ministers met in Luxembourg on Monday to discuss Turkey's invasion of Northern Syria.

The operations have been ongoing since Oct. 9 after US President Donald Trump withdrew troops from the region.

"To me the most important point today will be the fact that we will be hosting the U.N. Special Envoy for Syria, (Geir O.) Pedersen. We'll discuss with him how we can help protecting the political process from this new military escalation. And obviously, as you know, member states will discuss how far they are ready to go on some measures that are on the table," High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini said.

EU ministers aren't expected to be able to agree on sanctions against Turkey.

"I mean (to) stop Turkish operations will be difficult. It is not (for) the European Union to do this, but we will decide an arms embargo. We Austrians, at least, are very strong in favour to decide an EU arms embargo, and if not then all 28 member states should unilaterally decide not to send arms anymore into Turkey," Austrian Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Schallenberg explained. 

Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister Stef Blok said Turkey's decision to attack Northern Syria broke international law.

"Well it is against international law to invade a neighbouring country, and Turkey, should as every other, country abide international law," Blok said.

As people flee, Kurdish forces have reportedly established an agreement with the Syrian government for their forces to head back to support them on the Turkish border.