World Bulletin / News Desk
Germany’s conservative-left coalition government has rejected Thursday a motion filed by opposition parties to “immediately" withdraw German troops from Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base, amid political tensions between Berlin and Ankara.
The joint motion filed by the socialist Left Party and the environmentalist Green Party was rejected by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) and their coalition Social Democratic Party (SPD) after a heated debate in parliament.
Senior Christian Democrat lawmaker Roderich Kiesewetter criticized Turkey for refusing demands by German lawmakers to visit Incirlik Air Base, but warned against taking a hasty decision.
“A unilateral and immediate withdrawal of German troops is neither in the interest of Europe, nor in the interest of Germany,” he told lawmakers ahead of the vote on Thursday night.
He urged lawmakers to wait for the outcome of discussions at next week's NATO summit, and ongoing talks with Jordan for the potential relocation of German troops there.
Upon the suggestion of Christian Democrats and the Social Democratic Party, the majority of lawmakers voted in favor of submitting the motion to the Foreign Affairs Committee for further deliberation.
Since 2015, around 260 German troops, six high-tech Tornado surveillance jets and a tanker aircraft have been stationed in Incirlik Air Base, providing support for anti-ISIL operations.
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