Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has criticized harshly the European Union (EU) on Thursday for its decision not to invite Turkey for talks on Syria, local media reported Friday.
EU heavyweight France said Monday that it had asked its EU partners to invite non-EU member Turkey to a foreign ministerial meeting in Brussels on Syria on Thursday. But Turkey's participation was blocked when the EU member Cyprus raised objections, according to a report posted on the website of the Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman.
"The EU bowed to the whim of a small country," Davutoglu said.
Besides France, Germany and Britain also supported the Turkish participation in the meeting, Davutoglu was quoted as saying by the report.
During a phone conversation with his German counterpart Guido Westerwelle, Davutoglu said that Turkey had not requested to attend the meeting on Syria but it was ready to join because the three main countries of the EU had asked for its participation.
The EU decided on Thursday to place further restrictive measures against Syria "in light of the continued repression" in the country. Since the European bloc firstly imposed such measures against Syria in May, altogether 74 individuals and 19 entities were placed on its sanction list.
While on Wednesday, Turkey also announced a series of sanctions on Syria, including the freezing of its government assets in Turkey, a travel ban on Syrian leaders, the suspension of relations between the Turkish and Syrian central banks, and the blockade of weapons delivery to Syria through Turkish territory.
Turkey, once a close ally of Syria, has gradually toughened its criticism of the Syrian government for its crackdown on protesters, and Turkish leaders have on many occasions called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down.