[QODLink]
Europe

EU to restart Turkey membership talks

Bloc of nations agrees to resume talks next month following a three-year hiatus and Ankara's crackdown on dissent.

Last Modified: 23 Oct 2013 01:17
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Commissioner Stefan Fuleold welcomed the decision to resume talks on Turkey [EPA]

The EU has agreed to restart membership talks with Turkey next month, ending a three-year freeze despite Ankara's crackdown on protests this year.

EU foreign affairs ministers meeting in Luxembourg said on Tuesday that talks would resume in a fortnight, with an inter-governmental conference in Brussels on November 5.

The 28-nation bloc had agreed to the resumption in principle in June, but then postponed the process in protest over Turkey's spring crackdown.

The November negotiations will focus on regional development, one of 35 chapters or sets of EU rules and standards that candidate states must satisfy before winning entry to the club.

The bloc's enlargement commissioner, Stefan Fuele, welcomed the decision.

"Accession negotiations need to regain momentum, respecting the EU's commitments and established conditionality," he said in a statement. "I hope more chapters will follow."

Fuele is eager for talks to start soon with Turkey on two other chapters, one on fundamental freedoms and the other on the rule of law; chapters 23 and 24.

Turkey's EU minister, Egemen Bagis, called the resumption of talks a "delayed but positive development".

When asked about Turkey's expectations about opening negotiations on those chapters, Bagis told the private NTV network: "We hope that the 27 member states will convince the Greek Cypriot administration to remove obstacles standing before the opening of the two chapters."

Turkey began accession talks with the EU in 2005, the same time as Croatia which this year became the bloc's 28th member.

But the talks have broke down because of Turkey's long-standing territorial dispute with Cyprus, a member of the bloc since 2004, as well as opposition from major powers France and Germany.

273

Source:
AFP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
The Pakistani government is proposing reform of the nation's madrassas, which are accused of fostering terrorism.
Weaving and handicrafts are being re-taught to a younger generation of Iraqi Kurds, but not without challenges.
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Featured
Up to 23,000 federal prisoners could qualify for clemency under new Justice Department initiative.
After years of rapid growth, Argentina is bracing for another economic crisis as inflation eats up purchasing power.
Deaths of 13 Sherpas in Nepal has shone a light on dangerous working conditions in the Everest-climbing industry.
Al Jazeera investigation uncovers allegations of beatings and rape in Kenya's ongoing anti-terrorism operation.
Incumbent Joyce Banda has a narrow lead, but anything is possible in Malawi's May 20 elections.
join our mailing list