The chief of NATO says he’s in touch with both Germany and Turkey regarding their latest dispute over visiting rights to a Turkish airbase where German soldiers are stationed. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told German daily newspaper Bild today he’s focussed on finding a solution and won’t speculate over hypothetical questions, including a possible withdrawal of German troops from the Incirlik airbase.
The German government said last week it was considering withdrawing the soldiers from Turkey. Turkey recently blocked a request for German lawmakers to visit their country’s 270 soldiers at the Incirlik airbase. The moved raised the possibility that Germany might relocate planes supporting a multi-national campaign against the Islamic State group.
Stoltenberg says he regrets the quarrel between the two NATO partners. A similar standoff between Germany and Turkey over access to German troops at the base happened last year.