Merkel ally leaves option open of arming PKK
BERLIN - Reuters
German Chancellor and leader of Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Angela Merkel (R) listens to the CDU parliamentary party leader Volker Kauder during a meeting in Berlin. REUTERS PhotoA senior ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel has left open the possibility of arming the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) as part of efforts to defeat Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) militants.
Germany is sending weapons to Kurds in northern Iraq but Merkel has previously ruled out supporting the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.
"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," Volker Kauder, the leader of Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) in parliament, told Spiegel Online.
"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," Kauder added.
U.S.-led efforts to halt the militants have focused in the last few weeks on the Kurdish Syrian town of Kobane, near the border with Turkey.