Germany to partially restrict arms sales to Turkey

Germany would only halt some arms sales to Turkey, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday 12 September, softening the previous statement by Minister of Foreign Affairs Sigmar Gabriel on stopping all major arms exports. Omer Celik, the Turkish Minister for EU Affairs, noted that these decisions will weaken Turkey's fight against so-called Islamic State (IS) and hence the security of Europe as well.

However, Merkel has assured the public that they will continue to fight the IS together with Turkey and that restrictions on arms sales will take place after the evaluation on a case-by-case basis. Still, the limits on arms sales are another part of the ongoing bilateral dispute that resulted in Merkel's request to suspend Turkey's accession talks with the EU. The political conflict led to the withdrawal of German troops from the Turkish Incirlik base, and, in general, joint military cooperation has suffered from a significant drop in arms exports to Turkey. A NATO spokesperson said that it is not the Alliance's role to deal with commercial export activities of its member states. Nevertheless, the dispute may have a negative impact on NATO's interoperability.

About author: Jakub Maděránek


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