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Friday, September 02, 2016

Angela Merkel betrays the Armenians

The Federal Government in Germany is planning a political gesture towards the Turkish government so that German parliamentarians may once again visit the German army soldiers stationed at Incirlik. According to information given to SPIEGEL, the Foreign Ministry and the Chancellery have agreed that the government spokesman, Steffen Seibert will appear at a press conference and distance himself on behalf of the Government from the Armenian resolution of the Bundestag.

On June 2, the Bundestag classified the 1915 committed by the then Ottoman government against the Armenian massacres as genocide.

Ankara then forbade German MPs from visiting the Incirlik airbase in Eastern Turkey. From there, the international coalition is flying their missions against the terrorist organization "Islamic State" (IS), including reconnaissance by the Tornados of the German armed forces.

In recent weeks the State Secretary in the German Foreign Office, Martin Ederer and the Head of the Political Department at the Foreign Ministry in Ankara, Andreas Michaelis, attempted to resolve the dispute. They were thereby clearly given to understand that the Turkish government demanded a public distancing from the genocide resolution of the Bundestag

Bundestag resolution has no binding effect

Berlin now meets with this requirement. Government spokesman Seibert will announce therefore that the resolution of the Bundestag will have no binding effect on the German government. It is , according to the tone, a political declaration of the Bundestag without any legal significance.

The decision was preceded by talks on the question of who should make the declaration from the Federal Government. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier did not want to take on this role, a personal appearance by Chancellor Merkel was not an option because it would have been seen as kowtowing to Erdogan. At the end, it was agreed that government spokesman Seibert would appear before the press.

In substance, the planned appearance of Seibert is not a change of course. Behind the scenes, Merkel as well as Steinmeier had always stressed that they considered the resolution of the Bundestag not to be a good idea. Steinmeier has always avoided designating the former misdeeds of the Ottoman Empire as genocide.

The Turkish government has made it clear in internal discussions that they would be satisfied with such a gesture. This would open the way for the visit of the representatives of the Defence Committee of the Bundestag to the German soldiers in Incirlik.

SPD parliamentary leader Thomas Oppermann had given Ankara an "ultimatum" of early October. Otherwise, could the mandate for the foreign assignment not be extended. After SPIEGEL information the Defence Department had already examined plans for a relocation of the Tornado aircraft to another location in the Middle East

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