NEWS

Turkey’s accession talks 'should end,' Kurz tells Kathimerini

VASSILIS NEDOS

TAGS: Politics, EU, Migration

The European Union should end accession negotiations with Turkey and pursue a different kind of cooperation with the country, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told Kathimerini in an interview published on Sunday.

“The EU-Turkey negotiations should stop immediately,” he said, adding that Turkey has steadily moved away from Europe and its values in recent years. However, he said Austria  has always been in favor of an “honest” relationship with the country.

Kurz welcomed the deal between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on the latter’s name, noting that Austria supports EU enlargement in the Western Balkans as presented by the EU’s Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn.

“We warmly welcome the agreement between the two sides. It shows that persistent negotiations and diplomacy work,” Kurz said. He added that for Austria, the Western Balkans is a key priority of its foreign and European policy, and also its EU presidency.

Providing honest prospects and a credible path to the EU for the countries of the Western Balkans will serve the bloc’s political, economic and security interests, Kurz stressed.

Asked whether Austria would close its borders with neighboring countries to prevent the secondary movement of migrants, he said the country has made clear in the case of the border with Germany that it will not accept measures that would burden it.

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