World Bulletin / News Desk
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman has ruled out an imminent decision on the future of Turkey’s EU membership talks, despite recent campaign calls by the country’s Social Democrats to stop the negotiations.
Speaking at a press conference in Berlin on Monday, spokesman Steffen Seibert said there won’t be any decision on Turkey's EU membership talks before Germany’s general elections later this month.
“There is no major European gathering before parliamentary elections in Germany on Sept. 24," he said.
“The European Council meeting in October will also review current relations with Turkey. And as the chancellor said yesterday, she will discuss there with her European counterparts whether or not to terminate membership negotiations,” he added.
The EU’s head of states and governments are scheduled to meet in Brussels on Oct. 19-20 for a planned European Council meeting.
Seibert underlined that any decision to end Turkey’s membership talks would require unanimity among all EU member states.
He also warned that bringing termination to the agenda but failing to achieve unanimity would be “a very bad sign” for the EU.
Merkel and her Christian Democratic bloc (CDU/CSU) had long opposed Turkey’s full EU membership, but supported continuation of accession negotiations in an open-ended way, which was promised to Ankara before the CDU/CSU came to power in 2005.