PressTV wrote:Vienna will block further Turkey EU accessions talks over Ankara’s post-coup human rights violations track record, says Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz.
On November 24, the European Parliament voted in favor of halting membership talks with Turkey over Ankara’s heavy-handed crackdown following a failed coup in mid-July. Re-starting the talks is set to be debated during a European Council meeting set for mid-December.
Before the meeting, the EU’s General Affairs Council of foreign ministers will convene to discuss the topic of re-initiating Turkey’s accession talks.
On Sunday, Kurz told the Spiegel Online that Austria would block the talks during the foreign ministerial meeting.
“The European Parliament has adopted a courageous and correct resolution demanding that the accession negotiations with Turkey be frozen. In the conclusions of the Foreign Ministers, there must also be a reaction to developments in Turkey. We must also propose that the accession talks be frozen,” he said.
Turkey has been trying to become a member of the EU since the 1960s. Formal EU accession talks began in 2005, but the process has been plagued by problems.
Kurz noted that the Netherlands and Bulgaria have the same view on the subject, adding that Turkey does not share EU values, a fact which can be easily seen in the measures it launched after the failed coup.
More than 125,000 people have been detained or dismissed over their alleged backing for the putsch. Much to the anger of Ankara, Western countries see the crackdown as an attempt to crush all dissent. Those purged include soldiers, academics, judges, journalists and political leaders with links to opposition figures or groups.
The accession talks were part of a deal struck between Turkey and the EU in March to limit the flow of refugees to Europe. Under the agreement, Turkey vowed to take back rejected asylum seekers and patrol borders. In return, the EU pledged financial aid, visa-free travel for Turkish nationals and progress in Turkey’s long-stalled EU membership talks.
“I have always warned not to make us dependent [on Turkey]. We must protect our external borders and be able to decide who is allowed to immigrate to Europe and who is not,” stressed Kurz.
Today the EU was going to make an announcement which had already been drafted re-affirming the EU's commitment to re-initiate accession talks with Turkey, as a result of the de-facto Austrian veto, the announcement was cancelled.
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