THE STORIES BEHIND THE HEADLINES

Abu Dhabi

London

New York

Tue, 12 Nov 2019 10:20 GMT

Germany Urges Turkey to End Its Military Operation, Addresses Brexit Issue

Politics

7Dnews London

Thu, 17 Oct 2019 10:24 GMT

Germany urged Turkey several times to end its military operation in northern Syria, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday October 17th, adding she would not deliver any weapons to Turkey under current circumstances, Reuters reported.

"In recent days I have strongly urged Turkey ... to end its military operation against the Kurdish military and I'm stressing that again now," Merkel told Germany's lower house of parliament.

"It's a humanitarian drama with huge geopolitical effects so Germany will not deliver any weapons to Turkey under the current conditions," she said.

Moving to United Kingdom and European Union negotiations, Merkel said a Brexit deal was still possible as EU leaders headed to Brussels on Thursday for a two-day summit dominated by last-minute negotiations.

The meeting will be Boris Johnson's first and last EU summit as prime minister of Britain if he can seal an agreement with the other 27 member states to leave the EU on October 31st and get his parliament's approval at a special session on Saturday.

Merkel told Germany's lower house that the British government had shown "a readiness to negotiate with very concrete proposals… There has been movement in recent days, significant movement ... so we are on a better path than before but, today I must say very clearly, we have not reached the goal yet."

Solutions still need to be found for customs arrangements in Northern Ireland to finalise a Brexit deal and EU leaders could yet meet again if they do not reach an agreement at this week's summit, Merkel said.

"We do not yet have an agreement on all the questions related to customs. We need practical, realistic solutions on how the new customs controls in Northern Ireland should concretely be implemented.

"An agreement on an orderly departure of the UK from the EU remains possible," she told lawmakers, adding to loud applause: "I can say that we will not allow hate and violence to flare up on the island of Ireland again.

"We will negotiate until the last second.

"If necessary, we can meet again for an extraordinary (European) Council. But let's see what happens here. Even if we are well prepared for a disorderly exit, an orderly Brexit is of course in everyone's interests," she said.

In addition, Merkel confirmed that Germany would make relations with China a key issue during its 2020 EU presidency when it takes over the rotating six-month presidency in the second half of 2020.


Europe