European Commission Candidate Insists 'Turkey Cannot Be EU Member'

© REUTERS / Murad SezerA European Union (L) and Turkish flag fly outside a hotel in Istanbul, Turkey, May 4, 2016.
A European Union (L) and Turkish flag fly outside a hotel in Istanbul, Turkey, May 4, 2016. - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Manfred Weber, the European People's Party top candidate to head the European Commission, on Wednesday promised to end talks with Turkey on EU accession if he is elected.

"Everyone wants to have good ties with Turkey and work close together, but if I am Commission president I will tell authorities in Brussels to stop accession talks between Turkey and the EU. Turkey cannot be a member of the EU. Let’s make it clear," he said.

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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan (L) chats with German Chancellor Angela Merkel (2nd R), U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (R) and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (2nd L) during the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, May 23, 2016 - Sputnik International
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Weber was speaking at a meeting in Passau of the Christian Social Union, the sister party of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union. The elections to the European Parliament are set for May.

Similar views have been previously expressed by French President Emmanuel Macron during his talks with Erdogan on the issue in 2018. The French president said that the relationship between Europe and Turkey could be reconsidered, however, stressing that he could offer partnership, but not membership "to preserve the anchoring of Turkey and the Turkish people in Europe and ensure that its future is built looking at Europe and with Europe." Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has struck the blow aside by saying that waiting for membership in the European Union "exhausts" Turks.

Turkey has been in off-and-on talks on joining the European Union since 2005. Brussels promised Ankara to re-energize the negotiations in return for taking back migrants but a coup attempt in Turkey months later prompted a crackdown and strained its ties with the bloc.

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