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Ex-French diplomat slams Trump’s Turkey policy

A former French diplomat has slammed U.S. President Donald Trump for his remarks targeting Turkey’s economy, saying he cannot apply unilateral measures, pressure and sanctions against a key NATO ally.

Marc Finaud, Senior Program Advisor at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, made the remarks Wednesday while speaking to an Anadolu Agency correspondent in Geneva.

“It’s a quite unfortunate decision that increases tensions in the region, which doesn’t need this kind of escalation. And if there are trade problems, which are sometimes legitimate, then they could be settled in a multilateral context within a world trade organization, but not by unilateral measures, pressure and sanctions against a very key, important ally,” said Finaud about Trump’s Twitter posts last week.

Finaud also slammed Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs against Turkey as Trump’s approach in this field is based on unilateralism, the use of force, pressure and sanctions instead of working together to find solutions.

On Aug. 10, Trump ramped up his attack on Turkey by doubling U.S. tariffs on Turkish aluminum and steel imports to 20 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

Finaud emphasized that Turkey, Russia, China and key actors in Europe should act together against the Trump administration.

“Work together as united as possible among the Europeans with Turkey, Russia, China and all key actors to convince the Trump administration that it is not even in the U.S.’ interest to act the way it does,” he added.

Separately, Finaud said Trump’s unilateral sanctions against Iran will harm especially the U.S. and European economies.

He said Russian and Chinese firms may benefit from European firms’ withdrawal from Iran.

“The Iran sanctions have officially been cast. These are the most biting sanctions ever imposed, and in November they ratchet up to yet another level.

Anyone doing business with Iran will not be doing business with the United States. I am asking for world peace, nothing less!” Trump tweeted on Aug. 7.

In addition, Finaud said there can be no military solution to the Syrian conflict and the problem there had become international as he called on the international community to support the UN’s efforts to find a peaceful and political solution.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

This led to a military conflict between Syrian opposition groups and the regime over the war-torn country’s territory. Iran has been supporting the Assad regime during the war while Russia intervened in September 2015.

Peace talks were launched in Geneva in 2012 aimed at finding a political solution to the conflict while talks in the Kazakh capital Astana began in 2017 to discuss a cease-fire that has been fragile so far.

Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed in the conflict mainly by regime airstrikes targeting opposition-held areas while millions more have been displaced.

During the conflict, the Assad regime has been accused many times by international actors of targeting Syrian civilians with chemical weapons.

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