Jordan, Germany disagree on status of German troops

DAILY SABAH WITH AP
AMMAN
Published 27.08.2017 14:02
Updated 27.08.2017 14:22
German soldiers and members of the NATO multinational battle group are pictured during a visit by German President and Lithuanian President in Rukla, Lithuania, on August 25, 2017. (AFP File Photo)
German soldiers and members of the NATO multinational battle group are pictured during a visit by German President and Lithuanian President in Rukla, Lithuania, on August 25, 2017. (AFP File Photo)

A Jordanian official says Jordan is negotiating with Germany over the legal status of German troops to be stationed in the kingdom, amid reports that disagreements delayed deployment.

The German magazine Der Spiegel reported Sunday that Germany seeks immunity in Jordan for 250 soldiers who are part of the U.S.-led campaign against Daesh terrorists. The report says Jordan balked at the demand.

The Jordanian official says talks with Germany are "subject to international diplomatic rules" and "equal mutual treatment." He demanded anonymity because he was not authorized to brief reporters on the issue.

Germany's Defense Ministry did not respond to a message requesting comment.

The German government has decided to withdraw its refueling and reconnaissance aircraft from Turkey's Incirlik Air Base to Azraq, after tensions between the two countries rose late May over Turkey's refusal to allow a German parliamentary delegation to visit the base.

Relations between Turkey and Germany initially became strained when local authorities canceled public appearances of Turkish ministers and government officials campaigning ahead of the April 16 referendum in several different German towns and cities. Officials based the cancellations on poor excuses such as inadequate parking lots and security concerns; however, they allowed no-campaigners and PKK sympathizers – who were against Turkey's constitutional reform – to rally.

Additionally, Turkish officials indicated their disturbance by Germany's stance regarding terrorist groups, including the PKK and the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), numerous times.

On June 7, Berlin announced German troops stationed in the southern Turkish base would be moved to a military facility in Jordan over the coming months.

PKK sympathizers have long used Germany as a safe haven for activities, including recruitment and collecting financial support, as well as openly holding rallies in German cities, despite the group being listed as a terrorist organization by the EU, U.S. and Turkey.

In addition, after the coup attempt on July 15, 2016, in Turkey, suspected FETÖ members have sought asylum in Germany despite being wanted by Ankara for their alleged involvement in the coup bid.

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