German Defence Minister, on visit to Berne, calls on Kurds to remain calm

German Defence Minister Rudolf Scharping (right), currently in Switzerland for talks with his Swiss counterpart Adolf Ogi, has called on Kurds throughout Europe to remain calm, despite Turkey's death sentence on Kurdish rebel leader, Abdullah Ocalan.

This content was published on June 29, 1999 - 12:47

German Defence Minister Rudolf Scharping (right), currently in Switzerland for talks with his Swiss counterpart Adolf Ogi, has called on Kurds throughout Europe to remain calm, despite the death sentence imposed by Turkey on the Kurdish rebel leader, Abdullah Ocalan.

Speaking to reporters in the capital Berne, Scharping said the sentence had not surprised him. He said he presumed that Turkey would consider very carefully the political consequences of carrying out the sentence.

Scharping is visiting Switzerland for talks with Ogi, Swiss President Ruth Dreifuss and Foreign Minister Joseph Deiss.

On Monday, Ogi held talks with his visiting British counterpart George Robertson.

The discussions focussed on the situation in Kosovo and the two countries' involvement there. Britain maintains a sizeable number of troops in Kosovo and Switzerland provides humanitarian and reconstruction aid.

A Swiss government spokesman said after the talks - held just outside Berne - that Ogi and Robertson also discussed the possibility of joint military training and European security matters.

Source: APD, sda-ats

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