Berlin (AP) - The acting SPD leader Malu Dreyer has threatened in the conflict over northern Syria with economic sanctions against Turkey. "If Ankara does not give in, economic sanctions can be the next step," Dreyer told the German press agency in Berlin.
"The entire global community has a responsibility to stop the violence in Syria," Dreyer said. The Europeans in particular would have a great interest in alleviating humanitarian suffering and in finding political ways of ending the conflict. It was the hour of prudent diplomacy.
It is therefore correct that Foreign Minister Heiko Maas wants to Ankara on Saturday, said Dreyer. This had announced Maas on Thursday. Dreyer said that the point was to make it clear to the Turkish government that weapons had to be permanently restrained, that international law applied to dealing with refugees, and that only the political process could be successful in the long term. "The EU-wide stop of arms deliveries shows that Turkey is becoming increasingly isolated," Dreyer said.
"In foreign policy, especially in a powder keg like Syria, prudence, concreteness, expertise and allies are important if you really want to do something," Dreyer said. "Realistic, concrete action and direct talks - that's what's needed now to help people in Syria."
This can be understood as an indirect criticism of Secretary of Defense Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU), who, in view of the Turkish military offensive in northern Syria, had proposed the establishment of a security zone in the border region with Turkey. Two weeks ago, Turkey invaded Syria in order to oust the YPG Kurdish militia it regarded as a terrorist organization. In parallel, the US troops allied with the Kurds moved out of the area.
SPD parliamentary leader Rolf Mützenich questioned the NATO membership of Turkey in view of the military offensive in Syria. "Everyone has to check for themselves whether they still can and want to be part of NATO. That is also true for Turkey, "he told the newspapers in the Funke Mediengruppe. The members of NATO not only committed themselves to sharing values, but also respecting international law. "The invasion of the Turkish forces in northern Syria is by no means covered by self-defense law. My doubts about Turkey have grown - not only since the purchase of Russian anti-aircraft missiles. »
Mützenich stated that NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg would have to assess the consequences of the military offensive in northern Syria for Turkey's role in NATO: "The Secretary-General of NATO has a big task to play. He will have to say if he is still convinced of the reliability of Turkey. »
At the same time Mützenich spoke out for a complete arms export stop. «EU leaders have agreed not to grant further permits for arms exports to Turkey. I also think that a Europe-wide arms embargo against Turkey is necessary. "The customs union with Turkey is also under scrutiny.
Turkey invaded Syria more than two weeks ago to oust the YPG Kurdish militia it considered a terrorist organization. In parallel, the US troops allied with the Kurds moved out of the area. On Tuesday evening, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin had agreed in Sochi on another withdrawal of the YPG from the border areas and joint control of the region.
Information on the meeting of NATO defense ministers