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Germany urges dialogue with Turkey despite differences

Germany urges dialogue with Turkey despite differences
Merkel’s spokesman acknowledges Turkey’s legitimate security interests, but criticizes ongoing military operation in N Syria

BERLIN (AA) - Germany on Monday urged continued dialogue with Turkey despite big differences on Turkey’s ongoing Operation Peace Spring in northern Syria.

Speaking at a news conference in Berlin, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman acknowledged Turkey’s "legitimate security interests" in the region.

"Turkey is severely threatened, again and again by terrorism," Steffen Seibert said, but added that the German government was not convinced yet that the military intervention was in full conformity with international law.

Seibert urged for an end to the military operation, expressing worries over humanitarian crisis and instability in the region.

"Despite our clear differences with Turkey on this difficult issue, it is in our interest to continue our dialogue," he stressed, amid calls by opposition parties to the government to sharpen its tone towards Ankara.

Turkey on Oct. 9 launched Operation Peace Spring to secure its borders by eliminating terrorist groups there, to ensure the safe return of Syrian refugees and Syria’s territorial integrity.

Ankara wants to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates of the terrorist PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the PYD/YPG.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the European Union -- has been responsible for deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.

source: News Feed
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