German Chancellor backs 'open-ended' Turkey's EU talks
ANKARA (AP) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday the European Union should move forward with its talks with Turkey about joining the bloc, but that she remains skeptical about the nation becoming a full member.
Dr Merkel was speaking at a joint news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan amid a growing frustration in Turkey over the slow-moving membership talks and what Turkish officials say is reluctance by European nations to crack down on Turkish militants operating in their nations.
Dr Merkel, who has long advocated a "privileged partnership" instead of EU membership for Turkey, said she remains skeptical about Ankara joining the 27-member bloc but said Germany nevertheless, wants the talks to move ahead.
"We want the process to advance, despite the fact that I have hesitations concerning Turkey's European Union full membership," Dr Merkel said.