World Bulletin / News Desk
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday came out against a blanket ban on arms exports to NATO ally Turkey, amid political tensions between Berlin and Ankara.
Speaking to German public radio NDR, Merkel rejected calls by opposition parties for a total ban on arms sales to Turkey, calls that emerged during campaigning for the Sept. 24 general elections.
Merkel said that her conservative-left coalition government already took a more restrictive policy on such exports, with permits issued on a case-by-case basis, if Germany’s Federal Security Council decides in their favor.
“Turkey is together with us in NATO,” Merkel stressed, mentioning Germany's responsibilities as a member of the pact.
“We are alliance partners. We are also dependent on cooperation with Turkey on security issues. Also in terms of information exchanges regarding terrorist activities,” she added.
The chancellor also underlined Turkey’s important role as a partner in the fight against international terrorism, and said all these factors should be taken into account in such decisions, despite political differences on various issues.
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