by Staff Writers
Brussels (AFP) April 29, 2017
The EU's top officials will seek a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a NATO summit next month amid mounting tensions with Ankara, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Saturday.
EU President Donald Tusk made the announcement to 27 European Union leaders holding a special meeting -- without Britain -- on Brexit, Merkel told reporters.
She said Tusk "told us today that he was going to ask for a meeting with President Erdogan, along with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, during the NATO summit" in Brussels on May 25.
"Mr Tusk indicated he was going to consult us about this subject beforehand, which I welcome," the German leader said.
Erdogan, whose country is a key NATO member bordering the Middle East, is due to attend the 28-nation NATO summit, which is also set to welcome US President Donald Trump for the first time.
Merkel told the German parliament on Thursday that both German-Turkish and European-Turkish ties had been "severely hit" in the last few weeks as Erdogan continued his crackdown after a failed coup attempt last July.
Merkel highlighted Ankara's arrest and treatment of German newspaper correspondent Deniz Yucel, saying it was "incompatible with a constitutional state".
Merkel also voiced concerns that the April 16 referendum on expanding Erdogan's powers was not held under fair conditions.
Manila (AFP) April 29, 2017
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte faced pushback on Saturday at a regional summit over his efforts to soften Southeast Asian opposition to Chinese expansionism in the contested South China Sea, diplomats said. Duterte, host of the one-day Association of Southeast Asian (ASEAN) leaders meeting, lobbied ahead of the event for much closer ties with China despite its sweeping claims to the st ... read more
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