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    A European Union (L) and Turkish flag fly outside a hotel in Istanbul, Turkey, May 4, 2016.

    Turkey and EU: 'Process of Negotiations on Accession Continues', Mogherini Says

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    While the European Union is not opposed to continuing accession talks with Turkey, the bloc first needs a clearer signal from Ankara on its willingness to meet the entrance criteria before negotiations can be resumed, EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini said Friday.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — On Wednesday, a number of European Parliament members called on Brussels to halt the talks on Turkey's accession to the European Union in the wake of the nation's constitutional referendum on the expansion of presidential powers.

    "The process of negotiations on accession continues, it is not suspended, it's not ended. But, as I said, at the moment there is no work ongoing to open new chapters," Mogherini told reporters at an informal meeting of EU Foreign Ministers in Valletta.

    She stressed that there were "extremely clear" accession criteria that have been very well-known to Turkey since the beginning, particularly those regarding the rule of law, human rights, democracy and freedoms.

    "Now it is [up] to them [Turkey] to express their willingness to continue to be a candidate country. The rules of the club are clear… We would be happy to have them in but a level of clarification is needed… on their side. On our side, we are clear where we stand," Mogherini stressed.

    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan poses with children during a ceremony to mark the National Sovereignty and Children's Day at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, April 23, 2017.
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    Earlier in the day, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said that Germany was opposed to halting the accession negotiations with Turkey.

    The association agreement between Turkey and the then European Community was signed in 1963, which was then followed by Turkey's submission of a membership application in 1987. Talks on Ankara's EU membership began in 2005 but have been repeatedly suspended due to various obstacles, including the failed coup attempt in June 2016.

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    European Union, accession, Federica Mogherini, Turkey
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