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European Commission presidential candidate says would end Turkey’s EU accession bid

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Germany’s Christian Social Union (CSU) deputy Manfred Weber on Saturday said he would completely terminate Turkey’s accession negotiations with the European Union if he were to be elected head of the European Commission in elections scheduled for May.

Deutsche Welle Turkish service reported that even though Weber has said the partnership with Turkey is important, he ruled out Turkey’s full membership in the EU.

Weber has been nominated for president of the commission by the conservative European People’s Party, the largest group in the European Parliament.

Franziska Brantner, a Europe expert from the German Green Party, criticized Weber’s remark, accusing him of being a populist.

“Of course today’s Turkey led by [President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan can’t enter the EU. To deny this attempt explicitly, however, only empowers Erdoğan and weakens the remaining democratic forces in Turkey,” Brantner said.

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