Merkel expects travel ban to Incirlik base in Turkey to be lifted

Chancellor Angela Merkel expects a Turkish travel ban keeping German parliamentarians from visiting German soldiers at the Incirlik air force base in Turkey to be lifted shortly.

After a one-hour meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the Group of 20 (G20) summit on Sunday, Merkel said she believes there will be "positive news" on the situation in the coming days.

The meeting came after the German chancellor defused tensions over a parliamentary resolution passed in Berlin in May that declared the mass killing of Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire in 1915-1916 a genocide. The German government said Friday that the resolution was not legally binding.

Turkish officials have blocked German political delegations from visiting the military base in response to the parliamentary resolution.

Turkey, the Ottoman Empire's successor state, accepts that many Armenians were killed during the conflict, but vehemently objects to the use of the word "genocide."

More than 200 German soldiers who work in a support capacity for the US-led military campaign against the Islamic State are stationed at Incirlik.

Merkel and Erdogan also discussed cooperation on the refugee crisis and July's failed coup attempt in Turkey.

She said she expected a "positive outcome on an agreement between the European Union and Turkey on refugees, but that such an agreement could take weeks.

Erdogan meanwhile thanked Merkel for her support after the thwarted coup and she assured him that Germany stood on the side of the democratically elected government, Turkish news agency Anadolu reported citing government officials.

It was their first face-to-face meeting since the attempted military takeover. Merkel had spoken by telephone several times since then.

Last update: Sun, 04/09/2016 - 13:31

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