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German FM advocates ending Turkey's accession talks

11 September 2017 [16:33] - TODAY.AZ

By Kamila Aliyeva

Turkey’s 12-year-long attempt to become EU member-state is under threat amid rising tensions between Ankara and Berlin.

Brussels should stop negotiations with Ankara on Turkey's accession to the European Union, said German Foreign Minister Zigmar Gabriel in an interview with the portal on September 11.

He stated that he agrees with Martin Schultz, leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), on this issue.

"I completely agree with his [Schulz] position," Gabriel said, "and I, however, believe that almost all German citizens hold the view that Turkey in its present position will never enter the EU."

The future of Turkey’s EU membership talks has become a major topic in the German parliamentary elections campaign on September 24. 

Germany's political parties, especially the current coalition partners to Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats Union (CDU) and the Social Democrats (SPD) led by Martin Schulz and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, have promised to increase the pressure on Turkey.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is running for re-election, promised earlier to raise the possibility of suspending or ending Turkey’s EU membership talks in discussions with her counterparts, at a summit in Brussels next month.

Last week, several EU member states including Finland, UK and Lithuania have opposed Germany’s decision to suspend Turkey’s EU membership talks.

Turkey’s accession negotiations started in 2005, but until Turkey agrees to apply the Additional Protocol of the Ankara Association Agreement to Cyprus, eight negotiation chapters will not be opened and no chapter will be provisionally closed. The talks have reached a deadlock in 2007 as Turkey was not ready to change its position on Cyprus while German and French governments also opposed the country’s full EU membership.

Turkey’s ties with the EU have worsened last July after a failed coup attempt. Relations further deteriorated following an April referendum which expanded the powers of the president. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe's (PACE) recent decision to reopen a political monitoring process against Turkey also negatively affected Ankara-Brussels ties.


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