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Merkel remains skeptical about Turkey's EU accession

Source:Xinhua Published: 2014-2-5 9:58:25

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday that talks on Turkey's membership of the European Union (EU) are a "open-ended process" and she remains skeptical about a full membership for the country.

Germany supports moving forward the negotiation process by intensifying talks about regional policy and opening sections that address issues such as justice, Merkel said during a press conference with visiting Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

However, the chancellor said she remains skeptical about whether Turkey should join the bloc and won't put a time limit on the negotiation process.

Earlier in the day, Erdogan gave a speech to a German think tank, saying the EU could also benefit from Turkey's presence at the bloc's table. He urged Germany to step up support for Turkey's entry bid, acknowledged at the same time that his country must also press on with reforms.

Turkey has been an EU candidate since 1999 and began its formal membership talks in 2005. The talks, however, have long been stalled, primarily over its dispute with Cyprus. Instead of a full entry, Germany has been in favor of a "privileged partnership" between the EU and Turkey.
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