Merkel wants to stop Turkey’s EU membership talks

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BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced her intention to seek an end to EU membership talks with Turkey during her sole face-to-face TV showdown with challenger Martin Schulz on Sunday, putting ties with Ankara center-stage in Germany’s election campaign. In a sharp escalation of an already intensifying diplomatic crisis between two NATO allies with longstanding historical links, Merkel said: “It is clear that Turkey should not become a member of the European Union.” She said she will discuss with EU counterparts to see if “we can end these membership talks,” adding that “I don’t see [Turkey] ever joining and I had never believed that it would happen.” Germany will also look at imposing “real restrictions on economic contact” with Turkey, as well as possibly issuing a tougher travel warning against travel to the country, she said. Merkel’s tough line comes after Ankara arrested two more German nationals for “political reasons”, according to Berlin.

AFP

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