Germany praises Turkish security cooperation to ease row over Islamists

August 18, 2016 19:24


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BERLIN - Germany's interior minister praised Turkey on Thursday for excellent cooperation in fighting terrorism in an apparent effort to defuse a dispute with Ankara after a leaked government memo accused Turkey of being a hub for Islamist militants.

The memo is a headache for Chancellor Angela Merkel, who been criticized by some German and European lawmakers for appearing to cozy up to Ankara to help stem a migrant flow into Europe, despite concern about its human rights record.Just one year before a federal election, the leak of the report earlier this week by German public broadcaster ARD also unleashed recriminations within her right-left coalition.

Interior Minister Thomas De Maiziere said on Wednesday he did not regret the leak but on Thursday struck a conciliatory tone, saying exchanges of information with Turkey on movements of supporters of Islamic State militants were good.

"I can say that the cooperation with Turkish colleagues, security services, police and my colleagues is excellent," he said at a news conference about domestic security.

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