Germany deals with Jordan over Sharia law after vacating İncirlik

YUNUS PAKSOY @yunuspaksoy
Published 14.09.2017 00:52

The German government is working round the clock with Jordanian authorities to help German soldiers get full immunity against Jordan's sharia law, a spokesperson for the German Defense Ministry told Daily Sabah.

The spokesperson claimed that there was nothing unusual about the prolonged negotiations between Germany and Jordan.He added that even though the two sides "shook hands on the use of the Al-Azraq Air Base," talks in regard to whether German troops stationed in Jordan will be subjected to sharia law "were ongoing."

"This has also been the case for quite some time in other countries where it has to be negotiated. They have, on one hand, this demand of exemption from criminal persecution, while on the other, the countries have in mind the message it conveys to their own population."

Daily Sabah has also learned from highly-placed sources within the German government that Germany, after weeks of negotiations, was on the verge of coming to terms with Jordanian authorities.

Earlier this summer, Germany pulled its troops from Turkey's İncirlik Air Base after a political row with Ankara. Having moved to Jordan since, German authorities are now eyeing a deal with the country to make sure that German nationals, if accused of any crimes, are simply flown back home.

Meanwhile, Jordanian Justice Minister Awad Abu Jarad speaking to German media said: "We must be sure that legal violations are actually punished. It is also necessary to clarify how civil law claims are to be handled."

Another Jordanian official had said in August that talks with Germany were "subject to international diplomatic rules" and "equal mutual treatment."

The İncirlik crisis took place after a German parliamentary delegation was barred from visiting the air base by the Turkish government. Ankara harshly criticized Berlin, accusing it of harboring terrorists and double standards in the run-up to the April 16 referendum.

Following the crisis, the incident turned into a domestic political issue for German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the withdrawal was put to vote. The German parliament agreed on relocating its troops to Jordan on June 21.

Germany had about 250 soldiers stationed at the base in southern Turkey's Adana, along with six Tornado reconnaissance jets, 180 to 200 containers, and a refueling aircraft, all of which was used to participate in the U.S.-led air campaign against Daesh militants in Iraq and Syria.Though bilateral issues over the İncirlik base seem to have receded, the two countries have continued the use of harsh rhetoric and ultimatums over several other issues. The Turkish government claims that Berlin turns a blind eye to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) and the PKK, while the German government denounces Ankara for drifting away from European values.

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