BERLIN (Deutsche Welle)—German government spokesperson, Steffen Seibert denied claims made in a news report by “Der Spiegel” magazine that Berlin was going to tone down a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide. Leaders pointed out, however, that it is not legally binding.
The German news magazine “Der Spiegel” had reported on Friday that Berlin planned a gesture to appease the Turkish government’s anger over the Bundestag’s Armenia Genocide resolution. That report, however, was denied by German government spokesman Steffen Seibert.
He said there will be no talk of Germany distancing itself from the parliamentary resolution.
The report in “Der Spiegel” said Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government hoped to resolve a dispute that has seen German parliamentarians barred from visiting Bundeswehr troops stationed at the Incirlik airbase in eastern Turkey.
Germany’s lower house unanimously backed a resolution in early June that declared the ethnic slaughter of Armenians by the Ottoman regime during World War I as genocide.
In response, Ankara blocked German parliamentarians from visiting German troops stations at Incirlik, where the Bundeswehr is engaged in operations against “Islamic State” (IS). Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan denounced the vote, recalled his ambassador to Berlin for consultations and threatened further action.
The head of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union in parliament, Volker Kauder, said the chancellor would not distance herself from the resolution. Kauder told a committee meeting on Friday that she had called him personally to make it known that she was in favor the resolution.
Germany’s Foreign Ministry has sought to resolve the dispute in recent weeks, with officials reportedly being told that Ankara wanted the German government to distance itself from the legislature’s vote. According to “Der Spiegel,” a spokesman would reiterate that the resolution had no legal effect on the actions of the German government.
“The German Bundestag naturally has every right and the freedom to express itself on political issues,” Steinmeier said.
Both Steinmeier and Merkel are reported to privately support the parliament’s position.
Seibert said on Friday, however, that there could not be any talk of Germany distancing itself from the Armenia resolution.