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German Government in Talks on Foreign Financing of Mosques

FILE - The Cologne Central Mosque is seen in Cologne, Germany, Sept. 29, 2018. The German government is working to improve the transparency of foreign financing of mosques.

The German government says it is in talks with various countries to improve the transparency of foreign financing of mosques and prevent the funding of extremist facilities.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Christofer Burger said Friday that Germany has been cooperating with Kuwait at the latter's initiative since last year, and that Kuwait's government is working to "examine particularly thoroughly" the funding of projects in Germany. He wouldn't name other countries with which Germany is talking, citing confidential diplomatic discussions.

The daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung and public broadcasters NDR and WDR reported that the ministry had asked Saudi Arabia, Qatar and others to report planned financing of religious facilities in Germany.

Germany's interior minister has said that he would like to see German mosques become as independent as possible from foreign financing.