Dutch to seek EU nod for freeze on Turkey talks

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THE HAGUE: The Dutch government will seek European Union support to temporarily freeze accession talks with Turkey, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Friday, in a move set to ratchet up tensions between Ankara and Brussels. “We are going to see whether there’s support in Europe… to suspend talks for half a year,” Rutte said at his weekly press conference. Turkey and the EU had agreed to speed up the long-stalled membership talks after both sides reached a deal in March to curb the flow of migrants into the European Union. But the process has stalled after a failed coup in July by a rogue military faction was followed by a crackdown that saw some 37,000 arrests. Rutte on Friday reiterated his Foreign Minister Bert Koenders’ statement earlier this week, who said the accession talks were “comatose.”

AFP

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