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Germany, Jordan clash over immunity for German troops

Jordan opposes calls from Berlin to grant immunity to German troops during their upcoming deployment, according to Der Spiegel magazine. The Gulf kingdom incorporates elements of Sharia law into its judiciary.

Ursula von der Leyen tallking to a German and a Jordanian officer (picture alliance/dpa/Bundeswehr)

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen visiting an air base in Jordan

The two countries are still negotiating the issue, with Germany already moving its military equipment into the new Jordanian base, Der Spiegel reported in its weekend edition.

Germany is set to transfer its Tornado jets to Jordan from the Turkish Incirlik air base in October. The dispute over soldiers' immunity will probably not affect the timetable, according to reports.

Read more: Is Jordan a reliable host for Germany's Bundeswehr?

A spokesman for the German defense ministry described the weekslong negotiations as "fruitful."

"We already started the deployment ... and are expecting to be fully operational" by October, he told the AP news agency.

Watch video 01:51

German military to leave Turkish air base

Berlin has decided to move some 250 soldiers to Jordan in June, amid a diplomatic row with Turkey. Ankara previously banned German lawmakers from visiting their troops in Incirlik. Germany is using their surveillance planes to aid the military action against the "Islamic State" in Syria.

Jordan recognizes both Islamic and secular courts, although the jurisdiction of the Islamic courts is limited to issues such as family law and inheritance disputes. The country's secular courts often pass harsh sentences, including the death penalty, which is outlawed in Germany.

Read more: Jordan repeals 'marry the rapist' law

Germany also serves as a host country for over 35,000 US troops. The US and Germany can both prosecute foreign soldiers, depending on the crime committed.

dj/rc (AP, dpa, AFP)

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