BERLIN (Sputnik) – Negotiations on Turkey’s EU accession should remain frozen until respect for democratic principles and human rights is restored in the country, a draft coalition agreement between Chancellor Angela Merkel’s alliance of CDU/CSU and the Social Democratic Party of Germany, published by the Rheinische Post newspaper, said on Tuesday.
“The state of democracy, the observance of the rule of law and respect for human rights have long been deteriorating [in Turkey]. That is why we do not want to close old chapters in the negotiations on the accession and to open new ones. Visa liberalization and the expansion of the customs union will only be possible, when Turkey fulfils necessary conditions,” the draft agreement said.
Relations between Berlin and Ankara have deteriorated following the failed coup attempt in Turkey in July 2016. Ankara has accused Berlin of providing asylum for coup plotters, while the latter, along with other EU members, has strongly criticized the detention of German journalists and human rights activists in Turkey and spoken in favor of suspending talks on Turkey’s EU membership.
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