Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Hassan Shoukry said in Zagreb on Tuesday that the condemnation of Turkey's invasion of Syria by the EU was insufficient, calling on the EU to take real steps to prevent the continuation of the military operation in the north of Syria.
We consider the condemnation by the EU to be just the beginning. The EU should take real steps to prevent Turkey’s further presence in Syria, said Shoukry, the first Egyptian foreign minister to be visiting Croatia.
Turkey is not present only in Syria, it is present also in Iraq, and it is a factor destabilising that area, the Egyptian minister said.
The EU has not done enough since the beginning of the Turkish offensive in the north of Syria, the Egyptian official said, stressing that Turkish military operations did not contribute to a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Syria.
We expect the European Union to pressure the Turkish government into giving up on the military operations in Syria as well as to prevent Turkey’s interference in the internal affairs of our Arab neighbours, he concluded.
Croatia will take over the chairmanship of the EU on January 1, 2020.
Croatia calls on Erdogan to stop operations
Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic Radman recalled a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council, reiterating that the EU had condemned Turkey’s move, and he called on Erdogan to stop the military activities.
The Croatian minister warned about the destabilisation of the region and a possible new wave of refugees arriving in Europe.
“This year Croatia has been witnessing a 211% increase in illegal migration on its border with Bosnia and Herzegovina,” he said.
The Croatian and Egyptian foreign ministers also discussed the strengthening of bilateral relations, greater anti-terrorist cooperation between the EU and Egypt, enterprise and tourism.
They also commented on the status of the Muslim community in Croatia.
“Our country is well known for its successful building of co-existence and relations between the Croatian state and the Islamic community,” said Grlic Radman.
Minister Shoukry said he expected Croatia to successfully chair the Council of the EU in the first half of 2020.
I hope that Croatia will use its skills to contribute to the development of the political and economic situation in the EU, he said.