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Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel on the situation in Turkey and on arms exports

25.01.2018 - Press release

Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel issued the following statement today (25 January) on the situation in Turkey and on arms exports:

The German Government remains deeply concerned about the military conflict in northern Syria. That is why we are working with France to prevent a further escalation, to ensure that humanitarian access is made possible and to protect the civilian population. That is the top priority. In conjunction with France, we are also striving to ensure that due consideration is given to Turkey’s security interests. However, there is a chance that political negotiations to bring about peace and stability in Syria could come about and this must not be jeopardised by further military clashes. I have made this clear to the Turkish Government on repeated occasions.

I have also asked the NATO Secretary General to hold consultations within NATO on the situation in Syria and in the northern part of that country. As for the current consultations on arms exports, it is clear to the German Government that we cannot send arms to areas where tensions are high, and indeed we will not do so. Furthermore, arms export issues will most certainly play a prominent role in the coalition negotiations. The present acting German Government therefore agrees that we cannot pre‑empt the outcome of the ongoing coalition negotiations and that we should wait until a new government has been formed before discussing sensitive projects.

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