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Germany: NATO chief in talks with Germany, Turkey over air base spat

The chief of NATO says he's in touch with both Germany and Turkey regarding their latest dispute over visiting rights to a Turkish air base where German soldiers are stationed.

Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told German daily newspaper Bild on Sunday he's focused on finding a solution and won't speculate over hypothetical questions, including a possible withdrawal of German troops from the Incirlik air base.

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 air base. 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.

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen has announced that an airbase in Jordan shows potential as a replacement for Turkey's Incirlik base.


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