The Malta Independent 20 January 2022, Thursday

Austria calls for freeze on Turkey's EU membership talks

Associated Press Monday, 12 December 2016, 12:32 Last update: about 6 years ago

Austria wants the European Union to freeze membership talks with Turkey over Ankara's massive crackdown following the failed coup.

Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said Monday that the EU "must at least freeze the accession negotiations."

He said "it is wrong to continue accession negotiations as if nothing negative has happened in Turkey in the last few months."

Few EU states support Austria's stance.

On Thursday, EU leaders will discuss the bloc's deal with Turkey to stop tens of thousands of migrants arriving in Europe.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to open border gates after the European Parliament called last month for a freeze on membership talks.

Turkish authorities have arrested almost 38,000 people and purged more than 100,000 others from government jobs since the thwarted July 15 coup.

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