German Defense Minister arrived in Turkey for talks | News | DW
German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer is due to meet with her Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar in Ankara on Thursday.
This visit is Kramp-Karrenbauer’s very first to NATO partner Turkey. It is expected to resolve a number of conflicts.
What will the ministers talk about?
A spokeswoman for the German Defense Ministry said the two ministers would likely discuss tensions in the Mediterranean and the outcome of this week’s NATO summit.
Germany has assumed the role of mediator in the dispute between Turkey and Greece over natural resource rights in the eastern Mediterranean. The two sides have held diplomatic talks and Turkey has withdrawn its exploration vessels from disputed waters, but Berlin believes the issue remains unresolved.
The Ankara meeting is also expected to address Turkey’s future role in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of international troops. Turkey is currently securing the international airport in the Afghan capital, Kabul, an operation seen as crucial for Western embassies to continue their diplomatic operations there. The withdrawal of NATO troops from the country could be complete by mid-July.
Tensions between allies
NATO partners Germany and Turkey have not always agreed.
Last year, tensions rose between the two countries after the German army, the Bundeswehr, carried out a search of a Turkish cargo ship. The raid was part of an EU operation to crack down on oil smuggling and prevent illegal arms deliveries from reaching conflict-ridden Libya.
Turkey said the move was illegal and accused Germany and the EU of unauthorized use of force. But the mission’s command said it had reason to believe the ship could violate the United Nations arms embargo against Libya.
nm / rt (AFP, dpa)