German foreign minister denies arming PKK is an option
BERLIN - Reuters
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) talks with Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier during a session of the German Bundestag (lower house of parliament) in Berlin October 16, 2014. AFP PhotoGermany's foreign minister ruled out the possibility of arming the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) on Oct. 16, after a senior ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested this could help efforts to defeat Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) militants.
"There is no question of that as long as the PKK threatens Turkey with fresh violence," said Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier during an interview broadcast on Twitter.
Germany is sending weapons to Kurds in northern Iraq but Merkel has ruled out supporting the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the European Union and United States.
But Volker Kauder, the leader of Merkel's Christian Democrats in parliament, told Spiegel Online: "I know the problems that Turkey has with the PKK, but to sit back and watch as ISIL takes important border towns and develops increasingly into a threat for global security cannot be the solution."
"I do not rule out supporting other groups. But this would have to be done with Turkey, not against it. That also applies to support for the PKK," added Kauder, whose party governs Germany in coalition with Steinmeier's Social Democrats.