Good relations with Turkey more important than suspect’s release: Danish FM
COPENHAGEN - Anadolu Agency
Danish Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard listens during a joint press conference with his Palestinian counterpart Riyad al-Malki. AFP PhotoMaintaining good relations with Turkey is more crucial for Denmark than the recent dispute between the countries that erupted after the release of the suspected shooter of a Danish writer, the country’s foreign minister has said.
“Good relations with Turkey are more important than the Hedegaard case,” Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard told Danish daily Berlingske, in reference to Lars Hedegaard, an outspoken critic of Islam whose suspected shooter was recently released in Turkey.
The release of the suspect has severely strained ties between the two countries since early October, with many Danish lawmakers and prominent figures pressuring the Copenhagen government to take harsh measures against Turkey.
However, Lidegaard stressed that Turkey and Denmark were collaborating in many spheres, recalling that “Turkey has helped rescue Danish hostages in Syria as well as cooperating in combatting foreign fighters.”
The two countries have strong ties and this relationship is more important than the suspect of the Hedegaard attack, he added.
Basil Hassan, a 27-year-old Danish man of Lebanese origin, was arrested in Turkey in April on suspicion of shooting Lars Hedegaard in Denmark in 2013. Hedegaard survived the shooting.
Relations between Ankara and Copenhagen further chilled after a Danish court released 10 men charged with financing the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) for alleged terrorist activities on Oct. 22.