Turkey Rejects Proposal to Suspend EU Accession Talks

Published July 6th, 2017 - 01:00 GMT
The EU (marked in blue) may vote this week to suspend accession negotiations with Turkey (marked in red) (Wikimedia Commons)
The EU (marked in blue) may vote this week to suspend accession negotiations with Turkey (marked in red) (Wikimedia Commons)

Turkey will insist on maintaining its EU accession process instead of settling for a lesser “strong cooperation” deal with the bloc, a senior minister said Thursday.

EU Minister Omer Celik was speaking in Ankara during a news conference with Johannes Hahn, the EU's enlargement official.

"The backbone of the relationship between Turkey and the EU is accession negotiations," Celik told reporters.

His remarks came before lawmakers in the European Parliament vote on a 2016 Commission Report on Turkey.

Among other things, the report calls on EU member states to "formally suspend the accession negotiations with Turkey without delay" if a series of Turkish constitutional reforms, passed in an April 16 referendum, are implemented “unchanged”.

Celik said any proposal that fell short of accession negotiations would be against the nature of the relationship that Turkey and the EU have had up to now.

He added Turkey would continue to work to open more chapters in membership negotiations with the EU.


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