17:58 GMT +316 July 2018
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    Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz

    Austrian Chancellor Urges to Stop Talks on Turkey's EU Accession

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    MOSCOW(Sputnik) - Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz condemned the human rights violations in Turkey and called on Brussels to end the EU accession talks with Ankara.

    "The talks on membership between the European Union and Turkey should be ended taking into account the system systematic violations of human rights and essential democratic values, and because the Copenhagen Criteria [rules defining if the state is ready to join the European Union] are not implemented anymore," Kurz said in an interview with the Welt magazine.

    The Austrian politician added that Turkey was still an important partner of the European Union and the ties between Ankara and Brussels should be maintained based on the policy of good neighborliness.

    Turkey was declared eligible to the EU membership in 1997. In 2005, the European Union and Turkey started the accession negotiations.

    Relations between Ankara and Brussels have deteriorated in the wake of the failed coup attempt in Turkey in July 2016. Ankara has accused Europe of providing asylum for coup plotters, while Brussels has strongly criticized the detention of journalists and human rights activists in Turkey, and suspended the preparation of new chapters of Turkey's accession negotiations with the European Union.

    Previous year, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that Turkey has been taking steps that distance Ankara from the European Union, noting that there are people in Turkey who would like to blame EU for accession talks failure.

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    European Union, Sebastian Kurz, Turkey, Austria
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