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June 29, 2017

BERLIN (AP) — Germany will deny permission for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to address Turks at a rally when he visits for the upcoming Group of 20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany’s foreign minister said Thursday.

Turkey officially requested permission Wednesday for Erdogan to make the appearance while in Germany for the July 7-8 summit, Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said during a trip to Russia. Gabriel said he had told his Turkish counterpart weeks ago that “we don’t think this is a good idea.”

“We are telling Turkey that we are convinced such an appearance in Germany is not possible,” Gabriel said, according to news agency dpa. Earlier Thursday, Gabriel said that “Mr. Erdogan is an important guest at the G-20 and will be received with all honors by us there. But we believe everything that goes beyond that is inappropriate at this point in time.”

He pointed to stretched police resources around the G-20 summit as well as Germany’s current tensions with Turkey. Erdogan last addressed supporters in Germany in May 2015. Germany has a large ethnic Turkish minority.

Earlier this year, Erdogan accused Germany, and Chancellor Angela Merkel, of “committing Nazi practices” after some local authorities blocked appearances by Turkish ministers hoping to campaign in Germany ahead of Turkey’s referendum on expanding presidential powers.

Relations between the two countries have been frayed by a widening range of other issues, including Turkey’s jailing of two German journalists.

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