BEIRUT

Middle East

Germany's Merkel meets Turkish leaders in Ankara

German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets with Turkey's President Abdullah Gul at the Presidential Palace of Cankaya in Ankara February 25, 2013. REUTERS/Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Presidential Palace Press Office/Handout

ANKARA: German Chancellor Angela Merkel is holding talks with Turkish leaders amid growing frustration in Turkey over its slow-moving European Union membership and a perceived reluctance by European nations to crackdown on Turkish militants operating in their nations.

Merkel met with President Abdullah Gul on Monday, a day after visiting German troops operating NATO Patriot missiles deployed near Turkey's border with Syria. She is also to meet Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Merkel said before her arrival in Turkey that she backs opening a new chapter in the stalled EU talks despite being skeptical about Turkey's accession. Turkey's membership talks in 13 policy areas are currently blocked by EU members.

Merkel also visited Cappadocia in central Turkey, famed for its caves and unusual stone formations.

 

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