German government cautious on Turkish fence-mending bid

AP News
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Posted: Dec 29, 2017 6:50 AM

BERLIN (AP) — The German government has responded cautiously to signals by Turkey's president that he wants better relations, stressing its interest in several Germans jailed for what Berlin considers political reasons.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in comments published Thursday that Ankara has "no problems with Germany, or with the Netherlands or Belgium," following strains with those countries.

An irritant in German-Turkish relations has been Turkey's jailing of several German or German-Turkish nationals, including a prominent journalist, on terror-related charges.

German government spokesman Georg Streiter said Friday: "The German government has taken note of these comments by President Erdogan. The German government is of the opinion that resolving the remaining detention cases has an important role in improving bilateral relations."

Streiter welcomed news Thursday of a German national's release, without giving details.