- Title: EU's Mogherini says Turkey is still candidate country, Turkish FM rebukes Germany
- Date: 4th September 2017
- Summary: BLED, SLOVENIA (SEPTEMBER 4, 2017) (REUTERS) EU FOREIGN POLICY CHIEF FEDERICA MOGHERINI WALKING ONTO STAGE AUDIENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) EU FOREIGN POLICY CHIEF, FEDERICA MOGHERINI, SAYING: "The work between the European Union and Turkey gets difficult, and I could list some of them (problems). You all know them - from human rights to fundamental freedoms. But one thing is clear. First of all, that dialogue continues, work on negotiations continues. That Turkey is a candidate country, for the moment. We might have an internal discussion in the European Union, as they might have an internal discussion in Turkey, on whether this will change. For the moment this is not the case." AUDIENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) EU FOREIGN POLICY CHIEF, FEDERICA MOGHERINI, SAYING: "What is clear is that negotiations on accession have their own criteria, and statements on different sides have an impact on the mood, but what counts is the results, is the steps that can be taken. We have lived (through) a couple of difficult years. On the future, I would suggest that we look beyond what is said in the electoral campaigns, both in Turkey and in the European Union. And I'm looking forward to the moment when we can sit together at the table and define what is going to be the future of our relations." TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTER MEVLUT CAVUSOGLU ON STAGE DURING PANEL DISCUSSION (SOUNDBITE) (English) TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTER, MEVLUT CAVUSOGLU, SAYING: "I wonder whether the debate last night was about the elections in Germany or was it about Turkey and Hungary. And (Turkish President Tayyip) Erdogan's and (Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor) Orban's name were mentioned more than internal issues last night in the debate. So I think German citizens wanted to hear more about their own internal issues and problems. This is a problem of some EU member states, and populism is very high." AUDIENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTER, MEVLUT CAVUSOGLU, SAYING: "With regards to Turkey-EU relations, it is still a strategic goal for Turkey. It was our own choice, and we wanted to be a member, full member, and we discussed and negotiated with the then EU member states, and we signed a deal for full membership. And since then we have been negotiating. Turkey has no problem to open any chapter and to discuss and negotiate any technical issue. Turkey is ready to meet any opening and closing benchmark of any chapter, so for us there is no problem there. But the problem is the political one, political obstacles that we have been facing." CAVUSOGLU ON STAGE DURING PANEL DISCUSSION
- Embargoed: 18th September 2017 18:44
- Keywords: Turkey European Union accession talks Federica Mogherini Mevlut Cavusoglu
- Location: BLED, SLOVENIA
- City: BLED, SLOVENIA
- Country: Slovenia
- Topics: European Union,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0016X6MB7R
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini said on Monday (September 4) that Turkey was still a candidate for European Union membership and as such accession negotiations would continue.
Her comments came a day after German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Social Democrat (SPD) rival Martin Schulz both said in a TV debate that Turkey had no place in Europe, drawing charges of populism from Ankara.
Speaking at the same regional forum as Mogherini in Slovenia's lake resort at Bled, Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said EU membership "is still a strategic goal for Turkey". He said Ankara was ready for further talks, but the process faced political obstacles.
The green light for membership talks was given months before Merkel became chancellor in 2005 and she had previously always said that she would respect that decision. Her comments in Sunday's (September 3) debate inflamed ties with Ankara already strained by President Tayyip Erdogan's crackdown on opponents following a failed coup in July last year.
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