EU’s Hahn: The ideal thing for Turkey is to discontinue EU membership bid

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BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - JULY 25 : European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Johannes Hahn, Egyptian Foreign Affairs Minister Sameh Hassan Shoukry (not seen) and The European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini (not seen) hold a joint press conference after the EU-Egypt Association Council meeting at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium on July 25, 2017. AFP

European Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said on Friday that the ideal situation for Turkey would be to discontinue its bid for European Union membership, two days after the European Parliament accepted a report seeking suspension of membership talks with Turkey.

Issuing a statement ahead of an association council meeting with Turkey after a four-year hiatus, Hahn said discontinuing the bid would be the most honest approach but that Turkey is not yet at that point.

Hahn also called for restarting negotiations for the expansion of the customs union with Turkey.

On Wednesday, in a move that was expected, the European Parliament approved a report asking for the suspension of EU accession talks with Turkey.

Forging a common European Parliament (EP) position on Turkey’s long-stalled EU bid, lawmakers voted 370 in favor and 109 against, with 143 abstentions, for an official freeze of the membership process, which would jeopardize some EU funding.

EU governments have the final say in any suspension.

“Sitting in a cell for 17 months without knowing what you are being accused of, that is reality in today’s Turkey,” Kati Piri, a Dutch center-left MEP who sponsored the non-binding resolution, told the plenary in Strasbourg.

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