Turkey, Europe

Turkish, German defense ministers hold 'constructive' meeting in Ankara

German defense minister says they generally agreed on topics of discussion during her visit to Turkish capital

Sarp Özer   | 17.06.2021
Turkish, German defense ministers hold 'constructive' meeting in Ankara Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer hold a joint press conference after their meeting in Ankara, Turkey on June 17, 2021. ( Arif Akdoğan - Anadolu Agency )

ANKARA

The Turkish defense chief said Thursday he had a "constructive" meeting with his German counterpart in the capital Ankara. 

"Just as we did during our visit to Berlin in February, we concluded our meeting here in a very constructive, positive manner with a unity of mutual understanding and approach," Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told reporters.

His remarks came after a one-on-one meeting with his German counterpart Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer at the ministry building.

On counter-terrorism, Akar said that he reiterated Turkey's firm stance and decisive fight against terrorists.

"The PKK equals the YPG [terrorists]," Akar said, referring to some Western countries' support for YPG/PKK terror group under the pretext of fighting Daesh/ISIS terrorists.

He stressed that this fact has been unveiled with many clear evidence.

Highlighting close cooperation in defense industry between the two countries, Akar said that "some concrete steps" should be taken about restrictions on arms sales to Turkey to pave the way for future activities.

"These restrictions against Turkey cause some problems not only for Turkey but also for the [NATO] alliance," the Turkish minister said.

For her part, Kramp-Karrenbauer said that they generally agreed on the topics they discussed during the meeting.

On recent developments in Afghanistan, she said many countries, including Germany and Turkey, have been struggling for peace in the country since 20 years.

Stating that the first step is to preserve diplomatic missions in Afghanistan, the German defense minister said: "The security of the airport needs to be ensured in the first place."

Turkey, whose forces in Afghanistan have always been of noncombatant troops, have offered to guard Kabul's Hamid Karzai International Airport after NATO forces withdraw from Afghanistan.

The airport is the main gateway to the capital Kabul.

Kramp-Karrenbauer stated that the infrastructure should be built with supports, and added that they would appreciate Turkey's steps to assume an important role in that regard.

She said that Turkey cannot be expected to do it alone and all allies should support Ankara.

According to an announcement in April by US President Joe Biden, all foreign troops will exit Afghanistan by September 2021.  

*Writing by Sena Guler

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