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Germany to pull troops from Turkish base in spat with Ankara

BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet decided Wednesday to pull German troops and reconnaissance aircraft out of Turkey’s Incirlik air base after Turkish officials refused to let lawmakers visit them.

The troops and planes participating in the international coalition against the Islamic State group will redeploy to Jordan.

Merkel said the move would allow Germany and Turkey to put aside one of many problems causing friction between the NATO allies.

Germany has about 270 troops stationed at Incirlik, near the Syrian border, with six Tornado reconnaissance aircraft and a refueling plane.

German deployments abroad require parliamentary approval, and German leaders say it’s essential that lawmakers be able to visit troops when they want.

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Turkey blocked the latest Incirlik visit request in anger over German authorities’ decision to grant asylum to soldiers and other individuals that Turkey accuses of participating in last year’s failed coup.

The relocation would mean that Germany no longer has to argue constantly with Turkey over lawmaker visits to troops, Merkel said in Berlin.

Pointing to issues such as migrant flows and economic ties, she said that Germany has many ‘‘common interests’’ with Turkey and the two countries need to keep talking.

Associated Press