Germany sees Turkey’s Erdogan as “important guest” at G20 summit



(Recasts with comments by foreign minister)
    By Andrea Shalal
    BERLIN, June 30 (Reuters) - The German government on Friday
sought to contain a further erosion of ties with Turkey after it
banned political appearances by President Tayyip Erdogan outside
the G20 summit, a move Ankara said amounted to double standards.
    German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel defended the move
given serious differences between the two allies over a range of
issues, including the jailing of a German-Turkish journalist,
but said Germany remained committed to mending ties with Turkey.
    He also said he believed Germany should have responded with
more "emotional" solidarity to last year's failed coup attempt
in Turkey, a point repeatedly made by Turkish leaders.
    "I think we made a mistake," he said.
    "There are big differences that aren't easy to overcome, but
I want to say this expressly, we are looking forward to
President Erdogan's visit to the G20 summit," Gabriel said.
    Turkey lashed out on Thursday at German politicians for
opposing Erdogan's planned public appearances in Germany.
    "It is regrettable that some politicians in Germany are
making unacceptable comments with domestic political
calculations," Turkey'sForeign Ministry spokesman, Huseyin
Muftuoglu, said in a statement. [nL8N1JQ33S]
    Gabriel said Germany did not want to see Turkish domestic
conflicts played out among the 3 million people of Turkish
descent in Germany.
    Turkey is frustrated about Germany's refusal to extradite
military officers and others who have sought asylum in Germany.
Gabriel says those requests must be handled on a case-by-case
basis, according to German law.
    He said Germany's decision to ban political speeches by
politicians from all non-European Union member states for three
months before elections in those countries mirrored similar
restrictions in place for German politicians at home.
    "We have no interest in escalation, but we also have to be
sure that our peaceful coexistence isn't threatened," he said.
    Steffen Seibert, spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel,
told a government news conference he had no information
indicating that Erdogan would not attend the G20 summit next
week in Hamburg. [nL8N1JQ2ID]
    "President Erdogan is an important guest for us and we
welcome his participation in the G20 summit," Seibert said.

 (Editing by Victoria Bryan and Janet Lawrence)
 ((; +49 30 2888 5159; Reuters Messaging:;))


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