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Germany’s Merkel to Improve Ties with Erdogan after Meeting | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel meets with Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan at the NATO Summit in Warsaw, Poland July 9, 2016. Bundesregierung/Guido Bergmann/Handout via REUTERS

German Chancellor Angela Merkel struck an upbeat tone after meeting Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the G20 summit, and stated her expectations for progress to take place.

Merkel said she was hopeful that the European Union and Turkey could resolve their differences over visa-free travel for Turks, but an agreement was likely still several weeks away.

“The discussions with the European Commission are very intensive and are continuing,” she said.

Merkel also said she expected a resolution in Germany’s dispute with Ankara over visits to an air base in Turkey; “I believe it is possible that we will get positive news on the justified demand in the coming days,” she said to media reporters.

German lawmakers threatened to end the military mission near the Syrian border in June after Turkey banned German lawmakers from visiting the base there following the resolution issued by the parliament which declared the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Ottoman forces a genocide.

Turkey approves that many Christian Armenians were killed but contests assertions that up to 1.5 million died, and denies the killings were orchestrated.

Turkey’s Erdogan and Germany’s Merkel also agreed that the political process which aimed at ending the fighting in Syria must be resumed since the situation in Aleppo was intolerable and a ceasefire was urgently needed.