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Foreign minister going to Turkey 'to ease tensions'
Photo: DPA

Foreign minister going to Turkey 'to ease tensions'

Published: 12 Oct 2012 11:09 GMT+02:00
Updated: 12 Oct 2012 11:09 GMT+02:00

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on Friday that he had hastily scheduled a visit to NATO partner Turkey in a bid to ease rising tensions with Syria.

Westerwelle, who is on a trip to China, said in a statement he would hold talks Saturday with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu in Istanbul on "the situation in Syria and on the Turkish-Syrian border."

"The Syria situation has escalated. That fills us with the greatest concern," he said. "It is important that no one pours oil on the fire. We are counting on moderation and de-escalation."

Westerwelle said his visit was intended as a "sign of solidarity" with a NATO ally and condemned recent shelling of Turkey, calling it "unacceptable".

"It is important that no one succumb to provocation and that we continue working on a new democratic start in Syria," he said.

"I want to hear for myself what was behind the forced landing of the aircraft and the confiscation of goods from the plane in Turkey."

Friction between Syria and Turkey escalated on Thursday when Ankara said it had found military supplies on a passenger plane it intercepted en route between Moscow and Damascus.

The Syrian foreign ministry accused Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan of lying after he said the jet had been carrying "equipment and ammunition shipped to the Syrian defence ministry" from a Russian military supplier.

Turkey's allies have warned of the risks embedded in the conflict between the neighbours, which have exchanged fire over their border in recent days, amid fears that the Syrian civil war could set off a regional conflagration.

AFP/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:52 October 12, 2012 by tueken
Why do they put a Chinese flag instead of Turkish.
15:50 October 12, 2012 by Major-Ji
@tueken. Afraid of future super power.
22:00 October 12, 2012 by henry1544
Why can't he just go to North-Rhine Westfalia?
22:09 October 12, 2012 by smart2012
Did u notice how few news come accross about this situation? Reason is that western countries are all silently supporting turkey in attacking Siria... Without saying that actually Siria was fighting radical Muslim groups. All of this is a comedy.. Hope Russia, China and Iran do not come in strong
08:57 October 13, 2012 by Bosporusanwohner
Oh how lovely, Westerwelle and Davutoglu make such a wonderful couple, both can smile sweetly and now again they can smile so sweet at each other!
09:04 October 13, 2012 by Englishted
@ henry1544,

What have we done wrong to deserve him?
04:40 November 2, 2012 by Hibernicus
Strange that Guido has nothing to say about Saudi and Qatar supplying arms to

rebel groups in Syria. Further, his Government has made no comment about former DDR soviet supplied tanks, which were transferred in large numbers to Turkey after 1990, turning up in the hands of so-called rebels as seen on Sky News two weeks ago.

Although rebels claimed they had captured these vehicles from the Syrian Army, there were no Syrian Army markings on the vehicles seen on television. Seems EU/NATO thinks it has a free hand to violate all international

law including the UN Charter which they are all signed up to. Hypocrites and liars the lot of them.
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