Westerwelle calls on Syria and Turkey to show restraint
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle on Friday called for restraint after Turkish war planes forced a Syrian airliner to land, dpa reported.
The incident late Wednesday heightened escalating tension between Syria and its northern neighbour Turkey, as Syria's 19-month conflict continues to spill over its borders.
"We have to be careful that we don't get into a spiral of escalation which could ultimately ignite the whole region," Westerwelle said in Beijing.
Westerwelle is planning a short stop in Istanbul on Saturday when he is due to meet Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on the way back to Germany.
The Syrian airliner forced to land in Ankara was carrying "military equipment," according to the Turkish government.
"Deliveries of weapons to the Syrian regime are not acceptable," Westerwelle said. He also warned Turkey about falling for "provocations."
The German foreign minister continued his visit to China Friday by meeting representatives of civil society groups. Westerwelle then flew on to Shenyang in north-eastern China where the carmaker BMW AG has a factory and where he will open a consulate.
Westerwelle did not say whether he would bring up with China's leaders the fates of the imprisoned 2010 Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo and his wife who is under house arrest.
Westerwelle said only that human rights play a role in diplomatic relations "and, of course, the fate of individuals, too."