May 11, 2017 / 7:39 PM / in 6 months

Germany's Gabriel says agrees with Turkish PM on need to improve ties

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany and Turkey want to improve their ties, the German foreign minister said after meeting Turkey’s prime minister on Thursday, seeking to reverse a deterioration in relations over an increasingly authoritarian tone from Ankara.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel addresses a news conference after meeting Africa Union chairperson Moussa Faki at the Africa Union Commission (AUC) headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia May 2, 2017. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

Speaking after meeting Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim in London, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said the countries needed to do more to get on better.

“We above all spoke about how we can get back to reasonable relations,” Gabriel told German broadcaster ZDF.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said this month Europe should not push Turkey away despite worries about President Tayyip Erdogan’s tightening grip on power, seeming to play down talk that its aspirations to join the European Union are over.

Germany’s emphasis on good ties with Turkey comes despite its frustration earlier this year about Erdogan repeatedly accusing it of applying “Nazi methods” by banning rallies aimed at drumming up support among Turks in Germany for a referendum vote that strengthened the power of his presidency.

Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Alison Williams

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