Wednesday, July 26, 2017

NATO offers to mediate between Germany, Turkey over military base dispute

NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg
NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg has offered to mediate between Berlin and Ankara on Tuesday with regards to the ongoing dispute over the visiting rights of German parliamentarians at the Turkish NATO base in Konya.

Germany has stationed troops in Konya which participate in the international effort against the so-called "Islamic State" in nearby Syria and Iraq.

Turkish policymakers, however, have revoked the visiting rights of German parliamentarians at the base following an escalation of long-standing diplomatic tensions between Berlin and Ankara.

According to a representative of the secretary general, Stoltenberg proposed organizing a visit of parliamentarians at the airbase within the framework of NATO.

"We hope to find a mutually acceptable solution for both sides as soon as possible," said the representative, emphasizing the significance of Konya for regional deployments.

Already tense relations between Germany and Turkey were put under additional strain when the Turkish government cancelled an already approved visit of German parliamentarians in Konya.

Previously, Turkish president Erdogan had banned German lawmakers from visiting soldiers at the Incirlik base, resulting in the transfer of affected troops to Jordan.

Until Tuesday, NATO had called for a solution of the conflict without taken any action itself, a circumstance which drew criticism in Germany.

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