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'Calm down,' Germany tells Turkey after attacks

The Local · 4 Oct 2012, 12:54

Published: 04 Oct 2012 12:35 GMT+02:00
Updated: 04 Oct 2012 12:54 GMT+02:00

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Speaking after meeting Yemen's President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, Merkel said: "Firstly, we condemn the Syrian attacks in the strongest possible terms.

"But at the same time, we call on all sides to exercise restraint ... we are on the side of Turkey and the foreign minister has had contacts with Turkey ... but at the same time restraint is the order of the day," she added.

Earlier Thursday, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle had also called for "prudence, for a measured handling of this worsening situation."

"It's now a question of de-escalation," Westerwelle told reporters.

He also urgently appealed to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad "to respect the sovereignty and also territorial integrity of Turkey and other neighbouring countries."

Turkey resumed pounding Syrian targets early Thursday, reportedly killing several soldiers, in retaliation for deadly cross-border fire that has sharply escalated tensions in the region.

On Wednesday, mortar fire from Syria crashed inside the Turkish border town of Akcakale, killing five civilians, including a mother and her three children.

Westerwelle said the events showed the risk that the 18-month long conflict in Syria posed to the region was growing, increasing the need for the international community to act.

"I appeal to all partners in the United Nations Security Council to be aware of their responsibility and not to reduce any longer the international community's ability to act through a blocking position," he said.

Story continues below…

The EU's foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton took a similar line earlier Thursday, saying: "I strongly condemn yesterday's shelling by Syrian forces of the Turkish border town of Akcakale, which killed five and injured many more."

"I call for restraint from all sides," she added.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:04 October 4, 2012 by catjones
I wonder how the germans would react had five of their countrymen been killed by a neighbor country. The word 'calm' does not come to mind.
14:19 October 4, 2012 by The-ex-pat
13:04 October 4, 2012 by catjones

I wonder how the germans would react had five of their countrymen been killed by a neighbor country.

Not to miss an opportunity, they would have found a way to tax it...........
17:12 October 4, 2012 by Bulldawg82
Lol! A violence tax! How about a response tax! Certainly a tax on all inbound mortars! If they don't pay, then they can't land.
01:57 October 5, 2012 by smart2012
This is all political bla. Europe and USA will support Turkey. Russia, iran and china support siria. Let's see where we end up.
19:15 October 5, 2012 by Beachrider
Turkey IS a NATO member. If they are experiencing border incursions, that is a serious issue. This probably won't be a battle-by-client situation UNLESS Syria continues to spill over with Turkish fatalities. It is hard to imaging Russia and China excoriating Turkey for responding to THOSE kinds of event.

The point is that Turkey cannot expect NATO tanks to accompany them on a charge to Damascus, if THAT should ever cross Turkish minds.
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