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German block on arms sales to Turkey weakens anti-terrorism fight - Turkish minister

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German block on arms sales to Turkey weakens anti-terrorism fight - Turkish minister

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LONDON (Reuters) – A decision by Germany to put all major arms exports to Turkey on hold weakens Ankara’s fight against terrorism and makes Europe vulnerable, Turkish EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik told reporters on Tuesday. Celik was speaking in London after German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Monday Berlin had suspended major arms exports due to deteriorating human rights in Turkey and increasingly strained ties between the NATO allies. “The German foreign minister must formulate his comments seriously. Those arms are being used in the struggle against PKK and ISIS,” Celik said. “This decision will weaken Turkey’s fight against terrorism, and weakening the Turkish fight would mean making Europe’s future more vulnerable,” he said. “Germany must leave security issues out of political discussions.”

(Reporting by Ece Toksabay; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Dominic Evans)
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