News 17 july — 21:32

Merkel: Germany will have talks with Turkey to resolve NATO base row


German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday that the talks with Turkey regarding German lawmakers' visiting German troops stationed in NATO bases located in Turkey would continue, but refused to "negotiate," Daily Sabah reports.

In an interview with German broadcaster ARD, Merkel said Germany has been providing significant contribution to the NATO base located in the central Anatalian province of Konya. She said not only the German government, but also NATO would have talks with Turkey.

Merkel said the German government would "outright" refuse to negotiate with Turkey to get green light for German MPs to visit the NATO bases in return for cooperation with the Turkish government on the suspects who are under investigation over ties with the Gülenist Terror Organization (FETÖ) in Turkey and seeking aslyum in Germany.

But she also pointed to their common interest in fighting Daesh under the NATO banner as a reason for talks between Turkey and German to continue.

Menwhile, NATO's Secretary General Jens Stolenberg has urged the Turkish and German foreign ministers to resolve their differences over visits to Turkish air bases, which is actually part of a wider row between the two allies.

Germany has refused to extradite asylum seekers who were involved in the Gülenist-led failed coup attempt last year, and Ankara has refused to let German lawmakers visit soldiers at two air bases.

Previously, the two countries were locked in a fierce diplomatic dispute after German lawmakers were denied a visit to the Incirlik Air Base. Consequently, the German parliament decided to withdraw German troops from that air base, redeploying them at another air base in Jordan.

The crises between the two countries were not limited to bans on German delegations' visits to air bases in Turkey. Germany recently denied President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan the right to address fellow Turkish citizens living in Germany when Erdoğan was in the country for the G20 summit held in Hamburg.

The president blasted the decision, calling the action "political suicide" for the German government. Germany said Erdoğan's address was not deemed appropriate at the time, a reason that was put forward by Ankara for the earlier ban on the German delegation due to visit İncirlik.

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