EU condemns Syria for shootdown, urges Turkish restraint
Monday, June 25, 2012
A regular conference of European Union foreign ministers in Luxembourg today issued condemnation of Syria's recent shootdown of a Turkish fighter jet, but also sought restraint from Turkey in its response.
NATO meeting called by Turkey under provisions allowing members to seek urgent talks if they perceive themselves under threat. Turkey is a NATO member, and an EU membership candidate., head of EU foreign policy, said the bloc is "very concerned" by the situation "and very concerned for the family of the two pilots who are missing". She speaks ahead of a
The disputed incident saw a Turkishdestroyed on Friday, with Syria claiming they were unaware of the aircraft's origin and merely defending themselves. The Turks claim the jet mistakenly entered Syrian airspace, but had left again after a warning and was in international airspace when it was attacked.
The EU has today announced fresh sanctions against Syria: Another person and six organisations were added to the EU's sanctions list, which now imposes asset freezes on 43 groups and over 100 people; the individuals also face travel bans. The growing list is in response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's violent suppression of an uprising against his rule. China and Russia consistently use their vetoes as permanent UN Security Council members to prevent calls for al-Assad to step down.
The UN puts deaths at the hands of Syrian government forces at 10,000; Syria attributes 2,600 government and security forces deaths to "terrorists" with foreign assistance. Turkey and the West are uncertain if removing al-Assad would simply make Syria even more fractured and volatile.
|This plane was not carrying arms and was on a routine flight|
Italy, said the shootdown highlighted the need for an end to violence in the region and "illustrates how the Syrian crisis is escalating". His UK counterpart, William Hague, said "I don't think it illustrates a different phase" but agreed it was "important that we increase the pressure with additional sanctions". He predicts some nations "will be very active in arguing for a new resolution from the Security Council." Their French colleague, , said the destruction with "no prior warning" of an aircraft that "was not carrying arms and was on a routine flight" is "completely unacceptable.", foreign minister of
A Turkish cabinet meeting is due today to examine the shootdown, with Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal telling al-Jazeera the attack was "a hostile act". Prime Minster has been more measured in his response, and has avoided calling for military intervention.
"Military intervention in Syria is out of the question," according to the Netherlands, for either "the Dutch government... [or] in the... context of NATO." NATO's meets tomorrow to discuss Turkey's concerns, with any action needing unanimous approval from ambassadors representing all 28 member states., foreign minster of
- Sebastian Moffett and Justyna Pawlak. "EU ministers urge restraint from Turkey over Syria incident" — , June 25, 2012
- AP. "EU condemns Syria for downing Turkish jet but will not intervene" — , June 25, 2012
- "EU ministers urge restraint from Turkey" — , June 25, 2012