Friday, September 02, 2016

Merkel's betrayal of the Armenians denied

CDU general secretary Peter Tauber has rejected a media report on a distancing by the Federal Government from the Armenian resolution of the Bundestag. "There is no distancing from the resolution of the German Bundestag about the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire," writes Tauber on Facebook. "Because the resolution was and is right." As CDU general secretary as a member of parliament and as a historian he stands fully behind it. "The currently circulating news from Spiegel online is wrong," said Tauber. Turkey is an important partner on many issues. But just as a partner, one must bear it that you discuss such issues openly. "We have done that with our resolution in the Bundestag," says Tauber. 

 Similar sentiments were expressed by CDU parliamentary leader, Volker Kauder. He reported the Union Group Bureau to subscriber information that Merkel had stated it in an interview the morning, that they have even supported the resolution. They have emphasized that they do not distance themselves from it. Kauder reported that a representative of the Foreign Office had provided an interview for the Turkish page of the homepage of the Bundestag, where the character of a resolution was described. Such resolutions have no binding effect and are not law. 

 Irritation in all the groups 

 The previously reported imminent distancing of the Federal Government from the Bundestag Resolution of the Bundestag has led to irritation in Berlin - even within the Cabinet.
Deputy head of the CDU, Stephan Harbarth said: "The position of the Union Group remains unchanged." A member of the governing council designated a possible distancing by Chancellor Angela Merkel as "fatal". On the board of the Union faction it was said, a distancing would "completely the wrong signal" to the Turkish President Tayyip Recep Erdogan. 

 Also SPD Vice Manuela Schwesig rejects a distancing of the Armenian resolution strictly. "I take a dim view," said the Federal Minister for Family Affairs. FDP chairman Christian Lindner warned the Federal Government "to #Armenien speculation must be a 'duck' Such a kowtow would be undignified for our country and disrespectful of Parliament."

Criticism also came from the Greens and the Left. "It would be an indictment of the political culture and a slap to the victims" tweeted the Green Party Chairman Peter Simone. "Now we crawl up the backside of the lunatics from the Bosporus ", the Left MP Klaus Ernst also wrote on Twitter. 

 Merkel did not take part in the vote in the Bundestag, but voted in the previous indicative vote in the CDU fraction with the deputies supporting the resolution. A government spokeswoman had specifically noted that Merkel had supported the resolution. Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) and Foreign Minister Steinmeier did not participate in the vote. 

 In early June, Parliament had called, at the request of Union, SPD and the Greens, the expulsion of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in 1915 as genocide. The Turkish government sharply condemned the resolution. It calls on the federal government to distance themselves and this has been associated with the currently denied visit by German parliamentarians to the German soldiers on the NATO base at Incirlik. Erdogan has not only stated his disapproval of a vote in the Bundestag, but has also attacked MPs personally, mainly those of Turkish extraction.


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