Merkel’s partners conflict over Turkish ties with EU

Berlin

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s potential coalition partners, the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Greens, have brought conflicting proposals on future ties between the EU and Turkey, days ahead of exploratory talks between the parties.
The FDP has called for ending Turkey’s EU membership talks, but proposed an alternative model of a “positive agenda” for close cooperation between the EU and Turkey.
“Given the current direction of Turkish domestic politics, we cannot see membership of Turkey in the EU for the time being,” Michael Link, Germany’s former deputy foreign minister told Anadolu Agency.
The senior FDP lawmaker argued that Turkey’s EU process had already been de facto on hold for a long period.
“Of course what happens in the long run is open. But right now, we think it is better to end the negotiation process,” he said.
Link said his party still wanted to see close cooperation between the EU and Turkey, under a new mechanism called a “positive agenda”, taking into account of interests of both sides.
“The EU and Turkey can work together as closely as possible in various areas, such as migration, visa issues, energy, security and the Customs Union,” he said.
But the Greens, Merkel’s likely coalition partner along with the FDP, has clearly opposed ending Turkey’s EU membership process.
“Any decision to completely terminate Turkey’s EU membership talks would be a wrong message for the pro-European and democratic actors in Turkey,” Green lawmaker and foreign affairs spokesman Omid Nouripour told Anadolu Agency.—Agencies

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