Saturday 21 September 2019

EU’s enlargement commissioner says Turkey membership talks should be dropped

Johannes Hahn instead said the bloc should develop a strategic partnership with Ankara.

A general view of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey (Peter Byrne/PA)
A general view of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey (Peter Byrne/PA)

By Associated Press Reporter

The official overseeing the European Union’s future enlargement has said it would be “more honest” for the bloc to give up talks on membership for Turkey.

Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn was quoted on Tuesday as telling German daily Die Welt: “I think that, in the long term, it would be more honest for Turkey and the EU to go down new roads and end the accession talks.”

The Turkish flag (David Davies/PA)

Mr Hahn added: “Turkish membership in the European Union is not realistic in the foreseeable future.”

He argued that sticking to the talks has “blocked the path to a realistic, strategic partnership”.

Turkey started its EU accession negotiations in 2005 but the talks are stalled amid concerns over Turkey’s political situation, with some nations opposing membership.

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