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Germany, Turkey attempt damage control after row over EU bid

Europe
22.06.2013
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Doha (dpa) - The foreign ministers of Germany and Turkey met Saturday on the sidelines of an international conference in Qatar, in damage control measures after a diplomatic row over Turkey‘s bid to join the European Union.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle met with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu in Doha, where they were attending the Friends of Syria meeting.

The meeting was conducted in a "friendly and constructive atmosphere" and they talked about the EU‘s relations with Turkey, among other topics, according to sources in the German delegation.

The sources said the exchange took place "in the spirit of partners and friends."

On Friday, Turkey summoned the German ambassador hours after Berlin called in Ankara‘s envoy to explain stinging comments made by a Turkish official about Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Turkey‘s EU Affairs minister Egemen Bagis warned Merkel on Thursday not to block his country‘s progress towards EU membership for political gain ahead of September‘s general elections.

"If Ms Merkel is looking for domestic political material for her election, this material had better not be Turkey," Turkish media quoted Bagis as saying.

"(Merkel) will see that those who meddle in the affairs of Turkey end up badly," he said.

Bagis was reacting to reports of Germany expressing reservations about restarting Turkey‘s stalled EU accession talks because of its recent crackdown on anti-government protesters.

Protests against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan‘s socially conservative, Islamist-rooted government have been met with a violent police response that has drawn condemnation.

No progress has been made in nearly three years on Turkey‘s accession bid, largely because of French and German resistance and Turkey‘s tensions with EU member Cyprus. dpa kmu ar jln

 

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