Germany, Turkey vow united stand after racist killings

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Germany Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and his Turkish counterpart Ahmed Davutoglu on Saturday called for action against the far right after a series of racist murders in Germany.

Turks are the largest ethnic group of non-German origin in the country and all the victims were of Turkish origin.

"Right-wing extremism and racism have no place in Germany," Westerwelle told reporters in Bonn with Davutoglu who has been visiting Germany since Thursday and has met the families of some victims.

"Relations between Turkey and Germany are good. I hope that these horrible murders are not going to divide Turkey and Germany. It's for this reason that it is of the greatest importance that this series of murders are cleared up," said Westerwelle.

Davutoglu said the two countries shared a commitment to bringing the perpetrators to justice and stamping out racism.

"It is important that we fight the far right together, that we make a common front against the violence.... We must drain the swamp... these attacks are not going to damage the Germany-Turkey friendship," added Davutoglu.

Earlier this week, German authorities called for help from the public as they investigated a neo-Nazi cell believed to have murdered 10 people, mainly foreign shopkeepers, in a case that has shocked the country.

Authorities arrested a man on November 24 who stands accused of making a chilling video in 2007 -- discovered only last month -- in which the militants claimed responsibility for the murders.

© 2011 AFP

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