Turkey Approves German Delegation's Visit to NATO Base in Konya
13:14 08.08.2017(updated 13:59 08.08.2017)
Ankara has approved the visit of German lawmakers to a NATO base located in Turkey's Konya province, media reported Tuesday; the approval was issued a month after the trip had been postponed.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The visit to the Konya base has been tentatively scheduled for September 8, the German ARD broadcaster reported.
In mid-July, Turkey banned the Bundestag Defense Committee from conducting a visit to the NATO military base in Konya, where German military personnel are stationed. German government spokesman Steffen Seibert later explained that the visit was not canceled, but rather postponed to a later date. Also in July, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg unveiled a proposal to arrange a German delegation's visit within the alliance's framework.
The German broadcaster noted that the visit would not be headed by the Bundestag, but rather by the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller will accompany the delegation to the base, where a meeting with German soldiers will be conducted.
In May, Ankara canceled a German delegation's visit to the Incirlik airbase, where German military personnel and jets were stationed, the day before the visit was scheduled to begin. In early June, Berlin responded to Ankara's move by announcing the withdrawal its troops from the base, which started in July.
The relations between Berlin and Ankara became tense after German-Turkish reporter of Die Welt newspaper Deniz Yucel was arrested in Istanbul in February over alleged links to terrorist organizations and propaganda. The situation between both nations worsened after Germany banned Ankara's from holding pre-referendum rallies on German soil.
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