Turkish foreign minister seeks 'new beginning' with Germany

AP , Friday 5 Jan 2018

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu attends a news conference in Ankara, Turkey, October 24, 2017 Reuters

Turkey's foreign minister said it's time to reset relations with Germany as he prepared Friday to meet his German counterpart following more than a year of spiraling tensions between the NATO allies.

Germany's Sigmar Gabriel will host Turkey's Mevlut Cavusoglu on Saturday in his home town, Goslar. A major irritant in relations between the two countries has been Turkey's jailing of several German or German-Turkish nationals, including a prominent journalist, on terror-related charges.

Cavusoglu wrote in an article for Germany's Funke newspaper group published Friday that "both sides have an interest in a new beginning," but said that only would be possible "if we break the current crisis spiral in our relationship."

He hinted at willingness for faster legal proceedings, but also urged an end to the "standstill" in Turkey's European Union accession negotiations.

A spokeswoman for Germany's Foreign Ministry said Saturday's talks would cover "the entire breadth of German-Turkish relations."

"Naturally this will include difficult issues," ministry spokeswoman Maria Adebahr told reporters in Berlin.

Aside from the detention of German citizens — seven of whom Adebahr said were being held for "politically motivated allegations" — Berlin's handling of Kurdish opposition groups and members of the Turkish military who have sought asylum in Germany are likely to come up in the talks.

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