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    Schroeder's Istanbul visit causes tension in German coalition talks

    Hürriyet Haber
    20 Ekim 2005 - 11:06Son Güncelleme : 20 Ekim 2005 - 11:06

    According to a story carried in the German Frankfurter Allgemaine newspaper, Angela Merkel and her Christian Democratic (CDU) Party were angered by current German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's acceptance of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's invitation to an iftar dinner in Istanbul last week. Merkel, in coalition meetings two days ago, criticized the outgoing Schroeder for his latest Turkish visit.

    Merkel reportedly asked Schroeder that he confer with her and the CDU regarding foreign policy matters until the CDU officially takes over, a request to which Schroeder responded: "The decisions which I make over the next few weeks will have no effect over the new government. Otherwise, I would consult with you."
    Merkel: Your statements went too far
    Merkel then focused in on Schroeder's last week visit to Istanbul, where he joined PM Erdogan and more than a thousand guests for a widely covered Ramazan iftar meal: "In your last week's speech in Istanbul, you said that the goal of Turkey's EU accession talks was 'full membership,' and then noted that the 'privileged partnership' issue had been dealt with. These statements went too far."
    The clear dissent between outgoing Schroeder and incoming Merkel on the question of official German stance towards Turkey and the recently started EU accession talks is causing tension in the ongoing coalition talks between Merkel's CDU and Schroeder's SPD parties.


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