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'Turkey right to stop Syrian arms planes'
The plane stopped in Turkey last week. Photo: DPA

'Turkey right to stop Syrian arms planes'

Published: 15 Oct 2012 15:50 GMT+02:00
Updated: 15 Oct 2012 15:50 GMT+02:00

Germany supported Turkish moves to stop planes travelling in its airspace suspected of taking weapons to government forces in Syria, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on Monday as a second such operation was carried out.

“Turkey doesn’t have to tolerate weapons or weapons-relevant goods being transported to Syria over Turkish territory or through Turkish airspace,” said Westerwelle.

Only if Turkey could feel the solidarity of its partners – including NATO partners – would it be able to act prudently and work towards de-escalation, he said. Turkey did not have to tolerate Syria’s President Bashar Assad arming his army via Turkish airspace, he said.

A second plane was stopped as it flew across Turkey on Monday. After an inspection, the Armenian plane was allowed to continue its journey to Aleppo - but a plane was stopped last Wednesday en route to Damascus from Moscow, and its contents confiscated.

And although Westerwelle kept to the joint European Union line of opposing any weapons supply to the country – including the opposition – he also added, “We should not forget – the violence is coming from the Assad regime.“

Turkey’s Europe minister told a German newspaper his country needed more help from the EU to deal with the more than 100,000 Syrian refugees which have crossed the border into Turkey. He said the EU was too concerned on its debt crisis to realise what was going on.

“Europe should start thinking about the people who have fled Syria into Turkey,” Egemen Bagis told Die Welt newspaper.

"Europe is in a state of paralysis. There is no progress because it is completely fixated on the euro crisis,” he said.

The Turkish disaster agency AFAD said on Monday that the number of Syrians fleeing the conflict in their homeland and seeking refuge in Turkey has now reached 100,363.

Bagis spoke as EU finance ministers met in Luxembourg to ramp up pressure on Syria and also Iran over its disputed nuclear programme.

In September, the European Commission announced an additional €50 million in humanitarian aid to help civilians caught up in the violence.

That brought the total available from the Commission to €119 million and the EU's contribution in all to €200 million, or half of all international help offered at that point.

But Bagis demanded more, telling Die Welt: "Europe has to help people who need a safe haven. It's time for Europe to finally help out."

The United Nations estimates that more than 2.5 million people have been affected by the fighting. There are more than 348,000 Syrian refugees registered in neighbouring countries, but many more are unregistered.

DPA/AFP/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:43 October 15, 2012 by IchBinKönig
More tough talk from the European Warmongers. I guess Libya and Egypt are not enough oil feathers for the hats. And what success stories those projects are turning out to be.

So they steal the Oil, and then tax it extra for to be Green about it. Hey, times are tough all around.

In 2010, Syria produced around 385,000 barrels per day of crude.

While much of its oil is exported to Europe, Syria's natural gas is used in reinjection for enhanced oil recovery and for domestic electricity generation.
03:19 October 16, 2012 by wood artist
@IchBinKönig

I guess the question then is simple: How many people have to die before the self-appointed King cares? Can Assad kill everyone, as long as you get your cheap(er) oil?

wa
05:32 October 16, 2012 by IchBinKönig
@ wood artist

funny that all was fine with the middle east while the economy is was ok... Now that the economy is in the gutter, all of a sudden its time to agitate, create a conflict, take control of the oil. To finance the broken economy with YOUR cheap oil... How many will die, Wood Artist? How many? Will we see some more executions of leaders, that you've done business with for decades, in the street? Wil you be responsible for the Extremism that follows?
08:04 October 16, 2012 by grimbax
@IchBinKoenig

believe me, noone will blame the US to have beaten our German asses in WW2.

Sure its very difficult to comprehend which measures are the appropriate ones, but how about you make some suggestions instead of accusing wood artist of making business with dictators? ;-) I doubt he did... or did you wood artist?

The current sanction strategy is supposed to be a more modern/civilized approach over the "clean bombing war" in Iraq. Lets see how it works with Iran, Syria or even with Japan who try to get some Oil-islands at the Chinese coast currently and already suffer strong economic losses in business with China.

Blocking the castles gates until they give up is not really new, but it could work, at least in a state where the people have some say...

But what if Assad doesnt give a cookie about what his people wants!!??!!
19:28 October 16, 2012 by IchBinKönig
@grimbax

The real issue, is that NATO and the Muslim Brotherhood does not give a cookie about sovereignty or rule of law... Or at least they only care until they run out of money. So it is agreed, it has NOTHING TO DO WITH ASSAD. It has to do with Europe agitating long enough to warrant a large International scale force. A more Civilized Iraq War, you say? A war like a thief in the night. Nice to see that you see the correlation. But what will happen when the Extremists fill the void? Which I assume is what you refer to as giving the people what they want.

Where are the protests? There are none when the Sheep Herders go to war.
03:59 October 17, 2012 by grimbax
1) You twist my words about the Iraq war and missed my ironic part: "... " -> I also consider you thesis of Assad's innocence interesting, just dont have the background knowledge to take a position in this question.

2) Do you have a suggestion for how to stop the killing in Syria?

Because so far you, me and wood artist have only raised interesting questions and explained what we should not do. Much more interesting though would be some ideas about how to solve this conflict.
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