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Merkel: A weak Turkey not in German strategic interest

September 6, 2018

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting of the German government at the chancellery in Berlin, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018. In the fore ground left Labor Minister Hubertus Heil and right Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

BERLIN (AP) — Chancellor Angela Merkel says despite “serious disputes” with Turkey, it is in Germany’s “strategic interest” not to take measures that would weaken its economy further.

Tensions between Germany and Turkey have risen over a number of issues, including the imprisonment of several German citizens for what Berlin argues are political reasons.

But a deal with Turkey has also been critical to slowing the migrant influx to Europe, and Turkey is a key NATO member.

Merkel told RTL television Thursday: “We can’t always think in black and white.”

With an eye on Turkey’s plummeting lira and economic woes, she said: “we have a strategic interest in a sound economic development in Turkey ... If we act in a way that would weaken Turkey that would not be in our interest.”

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