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Turkey Joining EU Not on Current Agenda

© REUTERS / Yves HermanTurkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (C) poses with European Union leaders during a EU-Turkey summit in Brussels, as the bloc is looking to Ankara to help it curb the influx of refugees and migrants flowing into Europe, March 7, 2016
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (C) poses with European Union leaders during a EU-Turkey summit in Brussels, as the bloc is looking to Ankara to help it curb the influx of refugees and migrants flowing into Europe, March 7, 2016 - Sputnik International
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Turkey accession to the EU will not happen soon, according to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

BERLIN (Sputnik) — Turkey accession to the European Union is not on current agenda as some unresolved issues, including the situation around Cyprus, still remain, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday.

"Opening a new chapter [on Turkey accession] is not hampered by us, but by the unresolved issue of Cyprus," Merkel said addressing German lawmakers ahead of a March 17-18 EU summit aiming to seal the deal with Turkey on refugees resettlement.

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President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades said on Tuesday that his republic would block the opening of new chapters in Ankara's EU accession talks if Turkey failed to fulfill its obligations, including recognizing Cyprus as a state.

"If as a result of intensive cooperation we will have to open a new chapter on accession, it remains crucial that the accession talks are carried out with an open result, which leads to the conclusion that Turkey's accession to the EU is currently not on agenda," Merkel stressed.

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The European Union and Turkey provisionally agreed to speed up membership and visa liberalization negotiations in exchange for Ankara accepting undocumented migrants who had crossed into EU frontier states from its territory.

Since Turkey lodged its membership bid in 2005, the European Union has opened 15 chapters out of the 35 required to join the bloc.

Reaching agreement on Cyprus' reunification, which is currently separated into a Greek south and a Turkish north, is one of the conditions to accelerating the EU-Turkey accession talks.

 

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