(Bloomberg) -- European Union leaders may settle on an arms embargo on Turkey over its incursion into Syria as soon as next week, four officials familiar with the discussions said.
It would send a strong signal to Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government and drag Ankara’s relations with its NATO allies to a new low. The officials said the decision could be taken over a summit of EU leaders in Brussels on Oct. 17-18.
Germany announced Saturday that it stopped shipments of military equipment, while France has said the EU must decide on sanctions as a fitting response to the Turkish offensive against Kurds in Syria. At stake, according to France, is the question of Turkey’s membership at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
The arms embargo was floated at an EU diplomats meeting on Friday, one of the officials said. Klara Linder, spokeswoman for Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs Ann Linde, said her country will formally propose the arms embargo at a meeting of EU foreign affairs ministers in Luxembourg, on Monday.
The spat over Turkey’s controversial intervention in Syria adds to a series of disputes -- from sliding democratic standards to drilling activities off the coast of Cyprus -- which have strained relations between Ankara and the EU to breaking point.
The bloc has already suspended Turkish accession negotiations and most bilateral contacts, and said it may adopt punitive measures targeting Turkey’s hydrocarbon exploration sector.
Germany’s decision to halt shipments to one of the biggest clients for its defense industry adds to signs that some European powers may be willing to absorb the financial blow.
--With assistance from Eleni Chrepa and Sotiris Nikas.
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