Politician says Turkish move on Iraq threatens EU talks

6th November 2007, Comments 0 comments

6 November 2007, Berlin (dpa) - A military incursion into northern Iraq should be seen as grounds for breaking off talks on Turkey's accession to the European Union, a cabinet minister in the German state of Bavaria said Tuesday.

6 November 2007

Berlin (dpa) - A military incursion into northern Iraq should be seen as grounds for breaking off talks on Turkey's accession to the European Union, a cabinet minister in the German state of Bavaria said Tuesday.

Europe Minister Markus Soeder called instead for Turkey to be offered a "privileged partnership" along the lines proposed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"It is inconceivable that a candidate country should wage a war of aggression," said Soeder, a member of the conservative Christian Socialist Union (CSU) that has dominated Bavarian politics since World War II.

Europe's conservative parties wanted Turkey as a "bridgehead in the Islamic world," Soeder told Bavarian Radio, but "a basic prerequisite is that democracy and human rights are attended to."

Honesty and fairness demanded that Turkey be offered a privileged partnership, instead of leading the Turks to hope for full membership and then disappointing them, Soeder said.

Soeder came out against further EU expansion. "We've reached the limits," he said, adding that integrating the Romanians and Bulgarians was already proving difficult.

Croatia was the only serious candidate, the conservative politician said, voicing sentiments widely held in Merkel's conservative alliance of Christian Democrats (CDU) and their CSU Bavarian allies.

DPA

Subject: German news

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