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Germany's government hold plans to upgrade Turkey's Leopard tanks

AVRUPA-Germany's government agreed to push back the decision on upgrading German-built tanks used by the Turkish army, according to the magazine Spiegel. The freeze follows uproar over Turkey's use of Leopard tanks in Syria.German authorities decided to wait for the new government to take office before making any new moves on arms exports to Turkey, Spiegel magazine reported on Thursday. The magazine quoted German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel as saying that the current caretaker cabinet — an alliance of the same parties currently negotiating on forming a new government — is "united" in the decision to wait for the end of talks on the next grand coalition, which is expected to take weeks. The freeze comes amid a slew of criticism toward the government after images from northern Syria showed the Turkish army using German-made Leopard tanks in its anti-Kurd offensive. "The government is very worried over the military conflict in northern Syria," Gabriel told Spiegel. "When it comes to the current consultations on arms exports, the government thinks it is clear that we are not supposed to deliver arms to conflict areas and we will not do it."

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